A city of 7.2 million people (mid-2013), Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan metropolis where old tradition blends perfectly with Western culture and post-modern trends. Ethnic Chinese make up the bulk of its population, but there is also a sizeable presence of expatriates and people of different ethnicity, all enjoying the freedoms and prosperity of this city, once a fishing village.
Hong Kong is a place of kaleidoscopic variety. Hong Kong people enjoy the freedom of religion under the Basic Law. Then there are as many types of international cuisines as are the number of the ethnic groups in Hong Kong.
While the waves of Western culture have long arrived on the shores of Hong Kong, traditional values are still held by many Chinese people. Worshipping of ancestors live side by side with a night out in an Irish pub in the fashionable area in Central, Hong Kong's main business district.
Hong Kong is an affluent society with a per capita GDP of US$38,000 in 2013, rivalling those of the most developed economies. Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. Both English and Chinese are the official languages. This bilingualism features in daily life in Hong Kong with many people speaking fluent English. Cantonese is the local dialect and an increasing number of Hong Kong people speak good Putonghua.