On the global scale, Hong Kong takes far fewer refugees and asylum seekers than any other developed nation, if we go by percentage of the population alone. Most countries have 20-40% refugee acceptance rates. Hong Kong’s asylum seeker population is approximately 11,000 people* out of 7 million, which is around 0.2% of the total population.
Refugees are not a new phenomenon to Hong Kong, contrary to popular belief. Close to 1 million Mainland Chinese refugees came to the city seeking asylum in the mid 20th century. The truth is, refugees are not new to Hong Kong – Hong Kong was built on the backs of refugee labour and the labour of those who sought a better life.
Here are some facts to help debunk common misconceptions about refugees and asylum seekers:
*Editor’s note: this number is an estimate based on publicly available information. The true number of asylum seekers living at Hong Kong at any given time will fluctuate and children born to refugees are stateless and often are not included in this number.