Massive Waves of Hong Kong Citizens Seek Stability in Australia and Canada

As violence in the streets and anti-government protests ran rampant in the city of Hong Kong, residents are seeking migration to other parts of the world, with high numbers heading to Australia and Canada.

An article written by Michael Smith – China Correspondent (Australian Financial Review) in July 2019 stated that the number of Hong Kong citizens looking to migrate to Australia has risen exponentially, since the proposed extradition laws. This notion was later confirmed in an article written in the South China Morning Post by Fiona Sun on August 2019. In her article, Sun affirmed that the top three destinations for Hong-Kongers in the last 5 years were Australia, United States and Canada.

Both articles by Sun and Smith attested that amongst the residents looking to leave Hong Kong, are some of the city’s most affluent. The wealthy are looking to move assets to countries such as Australia and Canada as an “insurance policy” in fear of the introduction of the proposed extradition laws, which will allow people “accused” of financial crimes to be sent to China.

Sun further elaborated that a survey conducted in June 2019 by market research firm YouGov found that almost two-thirds of Hong-Kongers aged between 18 – 34 have thought of migrating elsewhere. An article written in August 2019 by Journalist Ben Doherty from The Guardian Newspaper, stated that the top three “push factors” were:

  • Too much political dispute/social cleavage (25.7%)
  • Overcrowded living conditions (25.7%)
  • Dissatisfaction with the political institutions (17.4%)

Furthermore, Doherty refers to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Pacific Studies in December 2018 – just a few months before the current turmoil began. The survey found that approximately one-third (34%) of the respondents suggested that given the opportunity, they would migrate elsewhere. The survey also uncovered that 51% of respondents between the ages of 18 – 30 were more likely to leave as well as those with tertiary level education (47.9%). Moreover, respondents to the survey also stated what they were looking for in a new country, the top three were:

  • Ample living space (35%)
  • Better air quality, less pollution and a beautiful environment (22.3%)
  • More liberty and better conditions for human rights (15.6%)

Australia boasts over 100 nationalities and ethnic backgrounds within its borders, making it one of the world’s most multicultural and culturally diverse countries. According to Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey (2019) on over 450 cities, Australia has 6 cities ranked in the top 30 safest places in the world.

In a recent national air quality study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), Canada placed 3rd best amongst the countries with the cleanest air on the planet. Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver all made the 2018 list of Most Liveable Cities in the World for their low crime rates, awesome culture, and stellar education.


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