We already know how many people live in Shanghai and how many foreigners live in China, but we’ve never had a very clear picture of how many foreigners live in Shanghai. Global Times breaks it down for us, with numbers from last year’s Shanghai census, the first ever to count foreigners. Here are some of the more interesting figures:
- There are only about 210,000 foreigners living in Shanghai, or just about 1% of the population
- That’s about half the foreigner population of Hong Kong (437,000), and double that of Beijing(107,445)
- We have over 214 nationalities living here, and the top three most populous groups from overseas are Taiwanese (44,500), Japanese (29,700), and American (23,600)
- 45,400 foreigners live in Pudong, and 42,200 in Changning
- Population scholars at Fudan believe we would draw more foreigners if there were more foreign-friendly services, more recruitment, and a smaller tax burden on high incomes -did you know if you make more than 83,500RMB (about $12,500) per month, you’re taxed up to 45%? Hong Kong only taxes 15%, in line with their local tax rates.
Huh. For some reason we always thought the number was a bit higher than just 210,000 (and we supposed it’s impossible to know how accurate this first attempt to tally us is.) What would you wager the non-Asian foreign demographic is then, under 100,000? And half of those are likely Pudong/Hongqiao villa dwellers.
Sometimes it’s easy to assume this city is chock-a-block full of Westerners – we traverse the same circles, eat at the same restaurants, shop at City Shop, attend the same parties, and on and on. But really we’re living in a social circle about the size of Fargo, North Dakota.