Health in Hong Kong: An International Perspective

VG. Rodwin
Hong Kong: Cities, Health and Well-Being. Urban Age/LSE Cities, November 2011.

Hong Kong stands out among wealthy megacities as having some of the best indicators of population health. Infant mortality is 3.0 per 1,000 births in Hong Kong compared to 6.2 in New York City and 4.0 in Paris, while life expectancy at birth is 78.0 years compared to 77.7 years in Tokyo and 76.1 years in Greater London (Table 1). Such indicators are too broad, however, to draw useful inferences about the performance of Hong Kong’s health care system, let alone the effects of Hong Kong, as a city, on its population’s health. It is difficult to disentangle the relative importance of health systems and diverse city characteristics, such as population density, levels of environmental pollution or the nature of the built environment, from the multiple determinants of health, including the sociocultural factors and the neighbourhood context of the population whose health is measured.

Wagner Faculty