Hong Kong and Macau Both are mostly self-governing territories within China, just 61 kilometers, or 38 miles apart. Both are cities No they’re not, Mr. Beat, you idiot Ok, ok. Both are special. Special administrative regions of China, that is, based on China’s one country, two systems principle. According to CGP Grey, they are both “the most country-like countries that aren’t countries.” Confused yet? Basically, Hong Kong and Macau are a part of China, but both get a lot of leeway to decide how they want to do stuff compared to the rest of China. China takes care of their foreign affairs and military defense and they take care of everything else. Both have a presidential limited democracy, although Hong Kong seems more open to expand that democracy than Macau. Both are part of the Pearl River Delta, which is probably the biggest urban area in the world based on both its size and population. Some estimates put the population of the Pearl River Delta metropolitan area at 120 million people! Oh my goodness. What? 120 million? No way. Russia has like just 24 million more people than that. Ok sorry, anyway, both are incredibly densely populated. Macau is the most densely populated territory in the world and Hong Kong is 4th. There are people everywhere, man! So maybe this makes sense, but the largest ethnic group in both regions is Chinese. However, Hong Kong has a significant Filipino and Indonesian minority and Macau has a significant Macanese minority, which is a mix of Portuguese and Asian ancestry. Wait, Portuguese? Huh? Yeah, well both Hong Kong and Macau are former colonies of Western empires. Until 1997, Great Britain controlled Hong Kong. Until 1999, Portugal controlled Macau. Because of that, the two were heavily influenced by foreign powers and not as much influenced by China. Actually, over time, the foreign powers left them both alone, too, and they thrived, probably because of that. In fact, both Hong Kong and Macau are two of the richest territories in the world due to free markets working their magic there. Indeed, both make a lot of money. Hong Kong’s GDP per capita is about $45,000 a year, the 12th highest in the world, although it is dealing with some dramatic income inequality right now. Macau’s GDP per capita is over $104,000 a year, making it the 3rd highest in the world. Macau is so rich that it doesn’t know what to do with all the extra money, so its government gives it back directly to the citizens. Both have very low taxes compared to most of the world. However, residents of Hong Kong do pay about 25% more taxes than residents of Macau. Despite this, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong ranks number one in the world, and has been ranked number one every year since the list began 23 years ago. Macau is ranked 34th on that same list. The cost of living in both countries is pretty similar, although Macau is about 3% cheaper currently, mostly due to Hong Kong’s higher housing costs. Both have low unemployment. Based on the latest numbers I could find, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate is 2.9% and people were freaking out recently when Macau’s unemployment went up from 1.8% all the way up to 1.9%. I’m obviously kidding. That’s a ridiculously low unemployment rate. Speaking of ridiculous, both have a ridiculously high life expectancy. Hong Kong has the 7th highest life expectancy in the world, with people there living, on average, until the age of 83. Macau has the 4th highest life expectancy in the world, with people there living, on average, until the age 85. Related to this, both countries provide universal healthcare, with primary services free for its citizens. The infant mortality rate is low in both countries, but a bit lower in Hong Kong. Both are at least partially located on an island. In Hong Kong, there is Hong Kong Island and all the New Territory islands. In Macau, there are the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Being so close to each other, both have the same type of climate, classified as humid subtropical. (Wayne’s World clip) Residents of both Hong Kong and Macau mostly speak Cantonese, although English is also an official language in Hong Kong. So Hong Kong and Macau seem to have quite a bit in common, but what about their differences? Hong Kong is about 40 times bigger than Macau, with about 18 times more coastline. Hong Kong has more mountains and hills than Macau. Macau is generally flat. And yeah, Hong Kong has a lot more people, with a total population of 7.4 million people. Macau has about 632,000. Residents of Hong Kong are generally older than residents of Macau. The median age in Hong Kong is 44 and the median age in Macau is 39, and Macau is growing at a slightly higher rate. Based on their European colonial heritage, Hong Kong’s legal system is mostly similar to the English model, whereas Macau’s legal system is more based on the Portuguese model. Unlike the rest of China, traffic drives on the left side of the road in both territories. Mass transit is definitely superior in Hong Kong. The Mass Transit Railway, one of the most profitable mass transit systems in the world, serves more than 5 million passengers a day. Over 90% of daily trips in Hong Kong are made using public transit, a higher percentage than anywhere else in the world. Macau is not known for its mass transit, but is currently building a light rail system to be completed some time in 2019. What about religion? Well, Hong Kong has a weird hodgepodge going on. The majority of Hong Kong residents practice a mix of Chinese folk religions, mostly revolving around Buddhism, sprinkled in with Taoism, Confucianism, and in some cases even atheism. The biggest minority religion is Protestantism, followed by Catholicism and Islam. In Macau, it’s also a hodgepodge, but overall it does not seem to be as religious as Hong Kong. As I said earlier, both economies are strong, but Hong Kong’s main industries are trading and logistics, tourism, professional and producer services, and especially financial services. Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial centers, up there with New York and London. Macau’s main industries are tourism, clothing, and textiles, but especially gambling! Boy do they love their gambling there. There are casinos everywhere. Macau reportedly makes seven times as much money from gambling as Las Vegas does. Hong Kong and Macau have different currencies. Hong Kong has the Hong Kong…dollar and Macau has the Macanese pataca. In general, most places in Macau accept the Hong Kong dollar as a currency, but Hong Kong establishments ain’t accepting the pataca, so don’t even think about it. Looking at the skyline of Hong Kong is kind of like time traveling to the near future. There are more skyscrapers in Hong Kong compared to Macau…by far. In fact there are more skyscrapers in Hong Kong than the rest of the world. Using the definition that a skyscraper is any building at least 150 meters, or 500 feet tall, Hong Kong has 1,223 skyscrapers. In second place is New York City, which has 754. Macau has just 51. Hong Kong competes in the Olympics, while Macau does not have an Olympic team. Hong Kong’s culture is a bit more cosmopolitan than Macau. In fact, people often describe Hong Kong as the place where “East meets West,” although the Portuguese influence on Macau culture is pretty strong Really, Hong Kong and Macau are two of the most unique places in the world. And maybe that’s a good place to end it. Hong Kong and Macau have their differences, sure, but the two stand out in the world as two places most of the world aspire to be like. I mean, look at them. They are amazing. I got a lot of suggestions to compare Macau and Hong Kong, so there you go If you want me to compare two places, let me know those two places in the comments but remember the first priority goes to my Patreon supporters They get dibs for suggestions. So if you want your suggestion to get priority, donate on Patreon at least $3 a video. And thank you for watching. This series is a lot of fun. Let’s keep it going for about 30 years.