Many Chinese are now talking about rùn. Chinese youths have in recent years appropriated this word in its English meaning to express a desire to flee. Over the three years of zero-Covid, after the state enforced protracted lockdowns, rùn evolved to mean emigrating from China altogether. One of the most incredible trends I’ve been watching this year is that rising numbers of Chinese nationals are being apprehended at the US-Mexico border. In January, US officers encountered around 1,000 Chinese at the southwest border; the numbers kept rising, and by November they encountered nearly 5,000. The Chinese who rùn to the American border are still a tiny set of the people who leave. Most emigrés are departing through legal means. People who can find a way to go to Europe or an Anglophone country would do so, but most are going, as best as I can tell, to three Asian countries. Those who have ambition and entrepreneurial energy are going to Singapore. Those who have money and means are going to Japan. And those who have none of these things — the slackers, the free spirits, kids who want to chill — are hanging out in Thailand.
- Date Posted:
- January 24, 2024
The two dollar figures I highlighted are at the median age of 30 for Millennials & Gen Z and Generation X age cohorts (unfortunately we don’t have data for Boomers at that age). The data I have always used in this chart comes from the Fed’s DFA which is updated quarterly. But that data is based on another Fed survey called the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which is a large survey done every 3 years. The DFA data just projects the SCF data forward based on some assumptions. It turns out that when the 2022 survey data was released, young people had a lot more wealth than we thought based on just projecting the 2019 data forward.