Hong Kong American

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Americans of Hong Kong origin
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Total population
(born in Hong Kong) (2012)[1]
Regions with significant populations
California, New York, Washington (Seattle)[2]
Predominantly English, varieties of Chinese:
Mandarin Chinese (Standard Chinese), Yue Chinese (Cantonese, Taishanese), Min Chinese (Min Dong,[3] Min Nan), Hakka, Wu Chinese[4] (Taihu Wu, Oujiang Wu).
Unaffiliated, Protestantism, Buddhism, Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Chinese American, Taiwanese Americans
Americans in Hong Kong, Overseas Chinese

A Hong Kong American is an American of Hong Kong descent. People from Hong Kong, a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China; or British Hong Kong from 1841 to 1997 as a Crown colony and later, a British Dependent Territory, can also be, and are usually considered Chinese American.

According the 2012 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 219,231 Americans who are born in Hong Kong.[5][6] Currently, there are over 330,000 Hong Kong immigrants to the United States.[7] This makes the United States the third largest home of Hong Kongers, behind Hong Kong and Canada. Many of the Hong Kong Americans hold both United States citizenship and right of abode in Hong Kong. Other than the US passport, many of them also hold HKSAR Passport and British National (Overseas) passport .


After the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, an influx of Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong immigrants settled in Chinatown, San Francisco, California, and Chinatown, Manhattan, New York. In Chinatown neighborhoods, many Hong Kong immigrants opened businesses such as Chinese restaurants and supermarkets.[8][9][10]

Since Hong Kong became a British crown colony, many Canton migrants (now Guangdong) took the chance to live in Hong Kong and earn enough money to migrate to the western hemisphere, mostly North America. In 1984, the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed and outlined the future of Hong Kong. It would become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. However, many people in Hong Kong traced their heritage to people living in the nearby Canton Province who fled the Chinese Communists. Many Hong Kongers had a negative image of both the Chinese regime, and for the future of Hong Kong. These feelings were worsened during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown. Many did all they could to emigrate to English-speaking countries.

During the 1980s and the 1990s, a large number of high-skilled Hong Kong immigrants settled in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where many were employed by high-technology companies in Silicon Valley. Many of the Hong Kong immigrants in the Bay Area resided in suburban communities, such as Burlingame, South San Francisco, and San Mateo, and in the Richmond District and Sunset District in San Francisco.[11][12]


As of 2012, there are 219,231 people in the United States who are born in Hong Kong. 96,281 of people born in Hong Kong live in the state of California.[5] 39,523 of people born in Hong Kong live in New York.[13]

Notable Americans of Hong Kong origin[edit]


  1. ^ "Race Reporting for the Asian Population by Selected Categories: 2010". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Host of Papers Cater to Seattle's Asian American Community : Media: An increasing inflow of immigrants is a major reason for the proliferation of such publications.". Los Angeles Times. May 16, 1995. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ethnologue report for language code: cdo". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  4. ^ "Ethnologue report for language code: wuu". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  5. ^ a b "2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.ocac.gov.tw/download.asp?tag=P&file=DownFile/File_1619.pdf&no=1619
  8. ^ "Chinatown History". San Francisco Chinatown. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ Ronald Skeldon (1994). Reluctant Exiles?: Migration from Hong Kong and the New Overseas Chinese. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 256–. ISBN 978-962-209-334-8. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ Ming K. Chan; Gerard A. Postiglione (1996). The Hong Kong Reader: Passage to Chinese Sovereignty. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 174–. ISBN 978-1-56324-870-2. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ Ronald Skeldon (1994). Reluctant Exiles?: Migration from Hong Kong and the New Overseas Chinese. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 242–. ISBN 978-962-209-334-8. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ Foley, Michael (2007). Religion and the New Immigrants : How Faith Communities Form Our Newest. Page 42. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  13. ^ "2008-2010 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 7, 2013.