Linguistic minorities in Hong Kong mainly came from Mainland Chinese and some Asian countries as a result of China civil war, colonization of British, immigration of domestic helpers and some other reasons. In this project, those groups of people are categorized into Chinese, South Asian, South-east Asian and Other as follows:

  1. Chinese
    The majority of Chinese in Hong Kong are Cantonese speakers but Cantonese, in fact, are not considered to be indigenous languages. Some scholars define Weitou and Local Hakka as indigenous languages as a result of the record of those languages speakers living in Hong Kong before 1898[1]. Like Cantonese, Tanka, Hokkien, Chiu Chau and Shanghainese were so defined as Chinese-speaking immigrants.

    1. Weitou
    2. Tanka
    3. Hakka
    4. Hokkien
    5. Chiu Chau
    6. Shanghainese
    7. Other
  2. South Asian
    A look back into history, and we find that South Asian immigration into Hong Kong is dated as far back as 1841. Up to this day, ethnic minorities make up about 5% [2]of the Hong Kong population. Many of these minorities are of South Asian origins. ​Among the South Asian community, the most significant ethnic minorities by numbers include the Nepali, Indians and the Pakistanis.

    1. Indian
    2. Pakistani
    3. Nepali
    4. Other
  3. Southeast Asian
    As Hong  Kong is known for the better economy and there is a demand for labour, most of the Southeast Asians such as Fillipino, Indonesian and Thai come to Hong Kong in order to get better paid opportunities.  Most of them have filled up the domestic helper market while others come to fill up the primary and secondary service industry including factory workers, sales or waitresses.

    1. Filipino
    2. Indonesian
    3. Thai
    4. Other
  4. Other
    1. Japanese
    2. Korean
    3. African


[1] Dr. Chunfat Lau, 〈香港原居民:語言及語言保育〉, Association for Conservation of Hong Kong Indigenous Languages  http://www.hkilang.org/NEW_WEB/page/articles

[2]Population by Ethnicity, 2001, 2006 and 2011 (A104), 2013 Population Census Office, Census and Statistics Department, Gov HKSAR.

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