Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Seven million people living in 423 square miles (1,096 sq km). The local government makes no attempt to hide this fact, noting the superlative on a fact-sheet (PDF). Although 49% of the city’s residents live in public or subsidized housing, the city has rents 35% higher than New York City. The Chinese city’s government has gone so far as to enact new taxes on investment in real estate to try to slow the rise in home prices, which now stand at nearly $1,300 a square foot.
No doubt, the throngs of bankers and mercantilists have comfortable accomodations. But according to the Society for Community Organization, 100,000 of the city’s laborers live in sub-divided apartment units averaging 40 square feet (3.7 sq m). The Hong Kong based advocacy organization commissioned and released these photographs, depicting the living conditions inside these apartments from the only vantage point able to capture the entire unit—directly above.