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The Chinese Diaspora: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Trends


This report examines key demographic elements of the global Chinese diaspora. Although the focus here is on recent levels and trends, the history of Chinese international migration traces back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. We present a demographic portrait of the Chinese diaspora through an examination of various quantitative data sources, paying close attention to differing definitions of who is included in these sources. After examining the geographic scope and trends of the diaspora by region and country of residence, we consider key social characteristics, such as distributions by age, sex, and religion. To better illuminate these patterns, we explore and identify the distinct categories of people among the first generation of the diaspora, as well as their enduring ties to China as evidenced through remittances, family migration, and other factors. 

Page Last Revised - October 28, 2021
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