The capital’s quality of life index rating reached 96.3, higher than the southern metropolis at 75, according to a 2021 report by Numbeo, the world’s largest user-contributed database on cities and countries, which analyzed 251 urban centers around the globe.
Globally, Hanoi ranked 219th while HCMC secured the 242nd position in the ranking, topped by Australia’s Adelaide.
Quality of life index takes into account eight indicators: purchasing power, pollution, house price to income ratio, cost of living, safety, health care, traffic commute time and climate.
Hanoi, the country’s biggest political center, recorded a “high” safety level while HCMC’s safety status was only at “moderate” level.
Walking alone at night in Hanoi was seen as safer than in HCMC. The capital has lower levels of crime than in HCMC, the report added.
Both cities’ healthcare services are at “moderate” levels.
Hospitals in major Vietnamese cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi often have to deal with enormous numbers of patients from rural provinces, where hospitals are not well staffed or equipped.
In terms of cost of living, the report revealed consumer prices are 17.78 percent higher in HCMC than in Hanoi while rent in the southern metropolis is 66.64 percent more than in the capital.
A family of four in HCMC estimated monthly costs of VND38.4 million ($1,660) while a single person has to spend VND10.8 million. A family of four in Hanoi needs VND36.4 million and a single person, VND10.2 million.
Housing prices in both cities are “very high,” with the price per square meter for an apartment in downtown HCMC VND67.4 million, and VND49.5 million in Hanoi.
The report showed both cities had “low” traffic quality, which takes into account several factors including time consumed in traffic, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide consumption estimation in traffic and overall inefficiency.
In HCMC, home to 13 million people including migrants, each person produces a yearly 854.71 kilograms of carbon dioxide. It requires 39.26 trees for each passenger to produce enough oxygen to cover that.
In Hanoi with eight million people, each person produces 852.17 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually, which requires 39.14 trees per passenger to produce enough oxygen.
Air pollution remained a major challenge in both cities, recorded at “very high” level.
Authorities have admitted air quality in HCMC and Hanoi have worsened in recent years due to exhaust fumes, factory emissions and construction dust. Though a series of measures have been taken, it remains a pressing issue.