How Many Chinese People Live outside of Mainland China?

There are thought to be about 40 million Chinese people living outside of the Greater China region, meaning that if all the Chinese people living outside of mainland China were a single nation, its population would be more than the population of Canada — and greater than that of Greece, Belgium, Sweden and Hungary combined. More than half of the Chinese people living outside of China are in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia or Malaysia.

More facts about Chinese migrants:

  • About 75 percent of Singapore's population is ethnically Chinese, as is about 70 percent of the population of Christmas Island.

  • The United States has the largest population of overseas Chinese in the Western Hemisphere, with about 3.5 million, followed by Canada at about 1.35 million and Peru at about 1.3 million.

  • In the 1980s and '90s, ethnically Chinese people controlled about 70 percent of Indonesia's economy but made up only about 3 percent of the population.
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