A new survey conducted by the Beijing office of the China Communist Youth League says 62 percent of us waiguoren enjoy Beijing, and almost half of us come from one of four countries: South Korea, the United States, Japan, or Canada.
The survey of 900 foreigners who have lived here longer than six months was conducted during 2014 and omitted the crusty old malcontents over 35, instead focusing on those between the ages of 18 and 35 (surveys of those older than 35 are apparently handled by the China Communist Old Codgers' League or something like that).
Unfortunately the young whipper-snappers over at the Communist Youth League have not yet released the full survey on their extensive website, otherwise we would provide you with more juicy details. As it is we have to rely on the spotty data delivered in reports by ECNS and The Global Times.
In our never-ending efforts to triangulate the actual foreign population of Beijing (which we've seen pegged at everywhere between 50,000 to 200,000), this poll says there are 90,000 foreigners living in Beijing, by which they presumably mean 90,000 between the ages of 18 and 35 (but maybe not, as the news reports did not specify).
Some gems: The top four nationalities in Beijing are South Koreans, Americans, Japanese and – surprise – Canadians, who together make up a little over 43 percent of all 18- to 35-year-old foreigners in Beijing:
South Korean: 18.6 percent
American: 12 percent
Japanese: 6.4 percent
Canadian: 6.1 percent
All other countries – 82 in all were cited in the survey – made up the remaining 57 percent.
The Canadians coming in at #4 is interesting because of the relatively small size of the Great White North (35 million or so), making it only around the 37th largest population. Of course, the Canadians' world-renowned politeness may be skewing the survey a bit as they may just be generally too nice to turn down man-on-the-street pollsters.
As to why we apparently love the capital, 34 percent cited the "pleasant cultural atmosphere"; 21 percent noted "ample job opportunities" and 20 percent said "lamb kebabs and cheap beer" (just kidding, "friendly residents" was cited).
Another interesting bit is that the poll shows a population distribution heavily weighted between fresh-off-the-boat newbies here less than a year (33 percent) and grizzled old China Hands who have been here longer than eight years (40 percent).
And remember, they didn't poll those that were here less than six months, nor did they talk to those over 35 (who as a whole may be more likely to have stayed in Beijing longer than eight years).
The survey also says 79 percent of Beijing's foreign residents can get by using Chinese, which is in stark contrast to a report earlier this year about Mandarin proficiency among foreigners across China that had the bulk of us classified as only knowing a few words of Mandarin.
If we can score a copy of the original report, we'll bring you more here.
Photos: Richard Liu, Canadians in China
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog