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|c. 7.33 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Cantonese (first language),|
Hong Kong English (second language),
Mandarin Chinese (second language)
|Non-religious with veneration of the dead, Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and other faiths|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Cantonese people, Macau people, Hoklo people, Hakka people, Teochew people, Shanghainese people|
|Demographics and culture of Hong Kong|
|Other Hong Kong topics|
Hongkongers (Chinese: 香港人), also known as Hong Kongese, Hongkongese Hong Kong citizen[b] and Hong Kong people, usually refer to the permanent residents of Hong Kong, in a broad sense. Very often, those terms are confined to describe Hong Kong permanent residents who are culturally associated with Hong Kong, especially through descent, birth or growth in Hong Kong or other types of deep affiliations with Hong Kong, regardless of ethnicity or nationality. In legal terms, they are usually regarded as persons who are Permanent Residents (Chinese: 香港永久性居民; Cantonese Yale: Hèunggóng Wínggáusing Gēuimàhn) of Hong Kong and, depending on their nationality, are eligible for a Hong Kong SAR passport. The word Hongkongers was officially included in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014.
The majority of Hongkongers are of Cantonese Han Chinese descent and most of them trace their ancestral roots to the province of Guangdong. However, the city also holds other Han Chinese subgroups including Hoklo, Taiwanese, and Hakka. Meanwhile, non-Chinese Hongkongers such as Indonesians, Filipinos, South Asians, Vietnamese, Japanese, Koreans, and British also make up 6% of the identity population.
Mainland China holds the largest number of Hong Kong expatriates. However, in the years leading up to the 1997 transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, many Hongkongers emigrated and settled in other parts of the world. The largest Hong Kong diaspora are found in English-speaking countries. A second wave of mass emigration emerged during the 2010s as a result of the 2014 protests and the ongoing political crisis in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's local cultural identity emerged prior to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. As a result, several major distinctions exist between Hongkongers and other residents from Mainland China; including in areas of language, judicial system, street naming system, culture, customs area, international border control, system of governance, direction of driving, social attitudes and values and legal currency.
From 1841 to 30 June 1997, Hong Kong was formally a British Dependent Territory.[c] English was introduced as an official language of Hong Kong during British-rule, alongside the indigenous Chinese language, notably Cantonese. While it was an overseas territory, Hong Kong participated in a variety of organisations from the Commonwealth Family network. Hong Kong ended its participation with most Commonwealth Family organisations after the colonization ended in 1997; although still participates in the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.
A poll from 2014 found that approximately 38 per cent of Hong Konger residents identified solely as Hong Kong citizens, 25 per cent identified as Chinese Hong Kong citizens, 18% as Hong Kong Chinese citizens, and 17 per cent as Chinese citizens.
The identity crisis is further heightened by demographic changes, in which Mainland China immigrants made up of a considerable portion of the migrant population post-1997.
Some Hong Kong independence supporters reject the term "Hongkongers" as a subordinate of the Greater Chinese ethnic group, and attempt to define the concept of "Hong Kong nation" which is completely separate from Chinese nationality. Some of the major advocates are Hong Kong National Party and Hong Kong Independence Party.
The terms Hongkonger, and Hong Kongese are used to denote a permanent resident of Hong Kong. Formally speaking, Hong Kong does not confer its own citizenship, although the term Hong Kong citizen is used colloquially to refer to permanent residents.[b]
The following aforementioned terms all translate to the same Cantonese term, Hèung Góng Yàhn (Chinese: 香港人; Cantonese Yale: Hèung Góng Yàhn). The direct translation of this is "Hong Kong person"; however, the term Hongkonger is also frequently used. 香港人 may also be translated as "Hongkongan".
In March 2014, "Hongkonger" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. According to the Dictionary, the term "Hongkonger" appeared in an 1870 edition of US newspaper The Daily Independent.
The term 'Hong Kong Chinese' was used during the British colonial era, when the British residing in Hong Kong made up a greater percentage of the population. It was common at that time to refer to an individual as 'Hong Kong Chinese' to differentiate them from a Hong Kong Briton.
Legal definition and right of abode
The Hong Kong Basic Law gives a precise legal definition of a Hong Kong resident. Under Article 24 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong residents can be further classified as permanent or non-permanent residents. Non-permanent residents are those who have the right to hold a Hong Kong Identity Card, but have no right of abode in Hong Kong. Permanent residents are those who have the right to hold a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card as well as the right of abode.
The Basic Law allows residents to acquire right of abode by birth in Hong Kong, or in some other ways. For example, residents of China may settle in Hong Kong for family reunification purposes if they obtain a One-way Permit (for which there may be a waiting time of several years).
Unlike many countries, Hong Kong does not require applicants for naturalisation to take a citizenship or language test to become a permanent resident. However, Hong Kong migrants and residents are assumed to understand their obligation under Article 24 of the Hong Kong Basic Law to abide by the laws of Hong Kong.
Residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("Hong Kong residents") shall include permanent residents and non-permanent residents.
The permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be:
- Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
- Chinese citizens who have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years before or after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
- Persons of Chinese nationality born outside Hong Kong of those residents listed in categories (1) and (2);
- Persons not of Chinese nationality who have entered Hong Kong with valid travel documents, have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years and have taken Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence before or after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
- Persons under 21 years of age born in Hong Kong of those residents listed in category (4) before or after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and
- Persons other than those residents listed in categories (1) to (5), who, before the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, had the right of abode in Hong Kong only.
The above-mentioned residents shall have the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and shall be qualified to obtain, in accordance with the laws of the Region, permanent identity cards which state their right of abode.
The non-permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be persons who are qualified to obtain Hong Kong identity cards in accordance with the laws of the Region but have no right of abode.
Ethnicity and background
According to Hong Kong's 2016 census, 92% of its population is ethnically Chinese, with 32.1% having been born in Mainland China, Taiwan or Macau. Historically, many Chinese people have migrated from areas such as Canton to Hong Kong, for example in the 1850s–60s as a result of the Taiping Rebellion and in the 1940s prior to the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Thus, immigrants from Guangdong and their descendants have long constituted the majority of the ethnic Chinese residents of Hong Kong, which accounts for the city's broad Cantonese culture. The Cantonese language, a form of Yue Chinese, is the primary language of Hong Kong and that used in the media and education. For that reason, while there are groups with ancestral roots in more distant parts of China such as Shanghai and Shandong, as well as members of other Han Chinese subgroups such as Hakka, Hokkien, and Teochew, residents who are Hong Kong-born and/or raised often assimilate into the mainstream Cantonese identity of Hong Kong and typically adopt Cantonese as their first language.
In addition to the Han Chinese majority, Hong Kong's minority population also comprises many other different ethnic and national groups, with the largest non-Chinese groups being Filipinos (1.9%) and Indonesians (also 1.9%). There are long-established South Asian communities, which comprise both descendants of 19th and early 20th-century migrants as well as more recent short-term expatriates. South Asians include Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese, who respectively made up 0.4%, 0.3%, and 0.2% of Hong Kong's population in 2011. Smaller groups include Americans, Britons, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Japanese, Koreans, Russians, Vietnamese and Thais. In 2011, 0.8% of Hong Kong's population were European, many (53.5%) of whom resided on Hong Kong Island, where they constitute 2.3% of the population.
2020 Nobel Peace Prize nomination
On 15 October 2019, Norwegian lawmaker Guri Melby announced that she nominated the people of Hong Kong "who risk their lives and security every day to stand up for freedom of speech and basic democracy" for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020. Several months later, on 8 February 2020, eight U.S. lawmakers nominated the pro-democracy movement of Hong Kong to receive the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their efforts to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy, human rights, and the rule of law as guaranteed in the Sino-British Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
Hong Kong diaspora:
Expatriates living in Hong Kong:
- The following figure is the number of Hong Kong-born Canadians living in Canada, as reported in the 2016 Canadian Census. However in 2001, there were a total of 616,000 Hong Kong Canadians that resided in Canada, Hong Kong, or elsewhere.
- Formally, there is no "Hong Kong citizen", with the terminology being used to denote a permanent resident of Hong Kong. Permanent residents of Hong Kong typically hold citizenship from China or from another sovereign state.
- From the 19th century to 1983, British Dependent Territories were referred to as Crown Colonies. Several years after the handover of Hong Kong, British Dependent Territories were renamed British Overseas Territories.
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- Media related to People of Hong Kong at Wikimedia Commons