"2016 Population By-census Thematic Report: Ethnic Minorities" published
Published date: 29 December 2017
The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) published today (December 29) the “2016 Population By-census Thematic Report: Ethnic Minorities” report, providing detailed statistics of the characteristics of the ethnic minorities in 2016.
According to the results of the 2016 Population By-census, there were a total of 584 383 ethnic minorities residing in Hong Kong in 2016, constituting 8.0% of the whole population in Hong Kong. A significant proportion of the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong are foreign domestic helpers. After excluding foreign domestic helpers, the number of ethnic minorities was 263 593 in 2016, making up 3.6% of the whole Hong Kong population.
Ethnic minorities refer to persons of non-Chinese ethnicity. In the Population Census/ By-census, the ethnicity of a person is determined by self-identification, usually with reference to a combination of factors such as cultural origins, nationality, colour and language. This practice is in line with the recommendations promulgated by the United Nations in 2008, and has taken into account the practices of other countries as well as local circumstances.
The number of ethnic minorities increased significantly by 70.8% over the past 10 years, from 342 198 in 2006 to 584 383 in 2016. The increase was mainly due to increases in number of Filipinos (by 71 628 to 184 081 in 2016), Indonesians (by 65 459 to 153 299 in 2016), South Asians (by 35 368 to 84 875 in 2016) and Whites (by 21 825 to 58 209 in 2016). South Asians included Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Bangladeshis and Sri-Lankans. The significant increases in Filipinos and Indonesians were mainly due to the increases in number of foreign domestic helpers of the two ethnic groups.
About 80% of all ethnic minorities in Hong Kong were Asians (other than Chinese) in 2016. The majority of them were Filipinos and Indonesians, constituting 31.5% and 26.2% of the population of ethnic minorities respectively. This was followed by South Asians, which took up 14.5%. On the other hand, 10.0% of the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong were Whites.
The median age of ethnic minorities was 36.3, which was about 7.2 years lower than that of the whole population of 43.4. The sex ratio (i.e. number of males per 1 000 females) of ethnic minorities was 307, which was significantly lower than the overall sex ratio of 852. This was attributable to the fact that more than half of the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong were foreign domestic helpers, of whom some 99% were females. After excluding foreign domestic helpers, the sex ratio of ethnic minorities became 1 027, which was higher than that of the whole population (925).
In 2016, among ethnic minorities aged 5 and over, Mixed with Chinese parent recorded the highest proportion of being able to read Chinese, at 83.9%. This was followed by Koreans (39.8%), Japanese (35.1%), Pakistanis (33.8%) and Thais (31.4%).
Generally speaking, younger ethnic minorities had better ability in reading Chinese. In 2016, 64.3% of ethnic minorities aged 5-14 were able to read Chinese. Among this young generation, Thais had a higher proportion of being able to read Chinese, at 83.1%, followed by Filipinos (72.2%), Pakistanis (71.5%), Nepalese (69.5%) and Indonesians (69.4%).
As for the ability in reading English, the majority (86.1%) of ethnic minorities reported that they were able to read English. Ethnic groups with a higher proportion of being able to read English included Filipinos (99.1%), Whites (98.6%), Koreans (93.2%), Nepalese (92.0%) and Japanese (90.5%).
Ethnic minorities’ ability in writing Chinese and English was similar to that in reading the two languages. Yet the proportion of ethnic minorities being able to write Chinese / English was generally a bit lower than the proportion of being able to read Chinese / English.
In 2016, there were 123 992 ethnic minority domestic households (i.e. households with ethnic minorities other than live-in foreign domestic helpers). Among them, 63.5% had members all being ethnic minorities and the remaining 36.5% had both members being ethnic minorities and members of Chinese ethnicity.
Among the ethnic minority domestic households with all members being ethnic minorities, the majority (88.7%) of them comprised members of a single ethnicity. South Asian households accounted for the largest share, with 23 073 households in 2016. This was followed by White households, with 21 194 households in 2016.
Over three-fourth of ethnic minority domestic households lived in private permanent housing and this proportion was higher than that of 53.0% for all domestic households in the whole territory. On the other hand, 14.5% of them lived in public rental housing, lower than that of 30.4% for all domestic households in the whole territory.
The median monthly household income of ethnic minority domestic households was $32,500 in 2016, which was 30.0% higher than that of all domestic households in the whole territory, at $25,000. This was mainly due to the higher income of White households (with median household income at $60,000), Korean households ($48,250) and Japanese households ($40,000). Within South Asian households, Indian households had a higher median household income of $38,750, while the corresponding figure for Pakistani households was $17,330.
Further details about the characteristics of ethnic minorities are available in the publication. Users can download the publication free of charge at the thematic website of the 2016 Population By-census (www.bycensus2016.gov.hk/en/bc-articles.html) and the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp459.jsp).
Enquiries about this publication and other results of the 2016 Population By-census can be directed to the 2016 Population By-census Office of the C&SD (Tel: 3547 1800, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last revision date: 29 December 2017