Cantonese has become Australia’s fourth-speaking foreign language as Hong Kong’s arrivals hit a record high.


According to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia’s Cantonese-speaking population has grown by more than 14,000 over five years, making Cantonese the fourth most spoken language in the country.

According to ABS census data released on June 28, the top five most spoken languages ​​except English are Mandarin (2.7%), Arabic (1.4%) and Vietnamese (1.3%). , Cantonese (1.2%), Punjabi (0.9%). ).

The number of Cantonese speakers increased by 14,338 compared to the 2016 census to 295,281. Mandarin remains the second most spoken language in Australia.

ABS conducts a population and housing census every five years, with the latest census data as of August 10, 2021. According to figures, the country’s total population, excluding short-term overseas visitors, was 25,422,788. This means that Australia’s total population has doubled in the last 50 years.

Since the passage of the strict Hong Kong National Security Act in June 2020, the number of Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong immigrants to Australia has increased. According to the Australian Government’s Ministry of Interior’s 2020-21 Immigration Program Report, the government will be a Hong Kong citizen under the General Immigration Program (excluding humanitarian visas) between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020. We have granted 4,312 permanent residents or temporary pre-resident visas. Nearly 2.7% of the 160,000 visas issued by the Australian Government during this period on June 30, 2021.

Hong Kong is in the top 10 immigrant visa-issuing countries for the first time in six years, moving from 23rd to 8th last year.

The number of immigrant visas granted to Hong Kongers this year increased by 210% from 1,391 in the previous year and by about 162% from 1,647 in the year before the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the SBS, the number of Hong Kong citizens granted permanent residence visas in Australia between 2020 and 2021 was as high as 25 years, surpassing the wave of immigrants that occurred in 1997 after Hong Kong’s sovereignty was transferred to China. increase.

According to immigration data, the number of immigrant visas granted to Hong Kong citizens in 1996/97 and 1997/98 was 3,591 and 3,491, respectively, and about 80% were obtained by skilled worker visas for permanent residence. ..

Julia Ye


Julia Ye is an Australian-based reporter who participated in the Epoch Times in 2021. She has been a reporter since 2003, focusing primarily on China-related issues.