Close to 300,000 Canadian Citizens Estimated to be Living in Hong Kong

Vancouver – February 24, 2011 – If Hong Kong was part of Canada, it would rank as the country’s 16th largest city, according to a new survey published today by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Hong Kong: Canada’s Largest City in Asia provides fresh estimates of the number of Canadian citizens in Hong Kong and presents a portrait of their lives as overseas Canadians. The report found that based on conservative assumptions, the number of Canadians in Hong Kong is estimated at 295,930. The report found that 7.85% of Hong Kong households have at least one Canadian citizen over the age of 18.

“Hong Kong is Asia’s most Canadian city,” said Mr. Yuen Pau Woo, President and CEO of APF Canada. “People-to-people ties between Canada and Hong Kong are based on extensive family, business and education linkages. They are an asset in transpacific business, diplomatic, and socio-cultural relations that deserve greater recognition in Canada.”

Some 61% of surveyed households noted that they had at least one other Canadian citizen in their household. The average household size of Canadians in this survey is 3.2 members. Given this assumption, a higher estimate for the total number of Canadian citizens in Hong Kong is 542,601.

Over two-thirds of respondents indicated extensive family ties with Canada with immediate or extended family members residing or studying in Canada. Most respondents, 82%, indicated their last place of residency in Canada was either in Ontario or British Columbia, with some 52% noting that they received their education in Canada.

In identifying factors contributing to respondent’s decision to live in Hong Kong, job opportunities and family were the most important. It is likely that Canadians in Hong Kong play a major role in the $3.3 billion in trade between Canada and Mainland China that transited through Hong Kong in 2009.

Of the Canadians abroad surveyed, 83% expressed strong sentiments about their potential to make a meaningful contribution as Canadian citizens living in Hong Kong. Their level of attachment to Canada, however, remains mixed. Only 16% considered Canada as their home ‘all the time,’ while 37% said ‘never.’ Moreover, 35% said they would ‘almost never’ or ‘never’ consider returning to Canada.

“There is considerable opportunity to strengthen, through policy and outreach activities, the attachment of the estimated 2.8 million Canadians abroad to their Canadian ‘home.’ These activities could inspire a greater contribution to Canada’s presence abroad,” noted Mr. Kenny Zhang, the report co-author and senior project manager with APF Canada.

The full survey can be viewed here.

The survey was conducted between November 3-27, 2010 with a total of 35,825 households contacted (out of a total of 2,341,500 domestic households), representing 1.5% of all households in the city. The estimate of Canadian citizens in Hong Kong is based on a random sample of 1,800 households. The range of error for this estimate is +/- 0.3 percentage point at the 95 percent confidence interval. Other reported information and views about Canadian citizens in Hong Kong are based on a random sample of 507 interviews. It has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence interval.

This report was commissioned by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and conducted by the Hong Kong Transition Project, Hong Kong Baptist University. It was produced with the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Government of British Colombia, and the Water & Duncan Gordon Foundation. The Canadians Abroad Project conducts surveys on issues and public attitudes about Canadians living abroad. For more information on the project, click here.


About APF Canada

The Asia Pacific Foundation is an independent resource for Canadians on contemporary Asia and Canada-Asia relations. As a national not-for-profit organization established by an Act of the Federal Parliament in 1984, the Foundation brings together people and knowledge to provide the most current and comprehensive research, analysis and information on Asia and on Canada's transpacific relations. The Foundation is funded principally through an endowment from the Government of Canada and by corporate and individual donors.


For additional information, please contact:

Trang Nguyen
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Tel: 604-630-1540

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