Hong Kong was the main point of departure for thousands of Chinese during the gold rush era of the 1850s, and many people from Hong Kong jumped on board these ships. The White Australia Policy significantly hindered the entry of the Hong Kongers of Chinese descent. The 1960s marks the gradual increase of Hong Kongers migration to Australia. Many during the 1960s-1970s came as students while others came as 'skilled' and 'business' migrants. In the 1980s, most Hong Kong-born people arrived via the Skilled Migration Program and Concessional Family Migration Program.
The uncertainty about Hong Kong’s political and economic future leading up to the transfer of Hong Kong from the British administration to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 sparked many Hong Kong-born people to immigrate. Many of whom were business and professional people. In fact, during 1984-1996, settler arrivals from Hong Kong numbered 75,480, thus representing the largest source of skilled Asian migration to Australia. According to the 2011 census, nearly 40% of the Hong Kong-born population who are employed are professionals. Moreover, for all Hong Kong-born who have qualifications, nearly 45% have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher.
In regards to religion, 44.8% of Hong Kongers in Australia identify as non-religious, 14.9% identify as Catholic Christians, 10.3% as Buddhist, 7.2% as Baptist Christians, and 22.8% affiliate with some other religion.