Hong Kong is one of two special administrative regions in China. A city-state situated on China’s south coast across from Guangdong province, it is known for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. With a land mass of only 1,104 square kilometers and population of 7,055,071, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
Hong Kong was a British colony from the First Opium War in 1842 until 1997. During this colonial era, the region espoused minimum government intervention under the ethos of positive non-interventionism. This greatly influenced the current culture of Hong Kong. Under the principle of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong has a different political system from mainland China. Its independent judiciary functions under the common law framework, stipulating that Hong Kong shall have a “high degree of autonomy” in all matters except foreign relations and military defense.
The lack of space has caused demand for dense constructions, which has developed the city to a center for modern architecture as the world’s most vertical city. The dense space has also led to a highly developed transportation network with a public transport travelling rate exceeding 90 percent, the highest in the world. Hong Kong’s financial and economic competitiveness, quality of life, corruption perception, and Human Development Index are all ranked highly.
According to both UN and WHO estimates, Hong Kong has the second longest life expectancy of any place in the world.