Popular identity tags in China: ‘ant group (蚁族)’, ‘NEET group (啃老族)’, ‘Dwarf poor dwarfish (矮穷矬)’, ‘Beijing Floaters (北漂)’

Right now, whether on the Internet or in real life, a variety of “new words” are showing up. Some words summarize unique class of phenomena or groups, fit the psychological needs, and they spread rapidly. Often public will find the classifications that fit them well. Below are the definitions of some popular labels:

Ant group (蚁族)

ant group

“Ant Group” refers to the “low-income college graduates inhabited by groups, they are either unable to find jobs after graduation or college students doing some low-income jobs living somewhere between the urban areas and the rural areas.

Second Generation of Rich (Rich 2G) or “富二代”


Second Generation of Rich (Rich 2G) or “富二代” refers to the children of the first batch of private entrepreneurs getting rich after the reform and opening-up in China. Most “Second Generation of Rich” were born in the 1980s, and have received good education and enjoyed other social resources.

Beijing Floaters (北漂)

beipiao english

Beijing Floaters refer to those people living and working in Beijing but are not traditional Beijing residents. Rare Beijing Floaters will have a fixed home in Beijing, they move anywhere for job requirements. Due to many reasons (such as high housing price), most Beijing Floaters do not have the sense of belonging in Beijing.

NEET group (啃老族)

NEET is a government classification, first used in the United Kingdom but whose use has spread to other countries, including Japan and South Korea. It stands for those “not currently engaged in employment , education or training”. But in China, the definition changes, NEET group (啃老族) in China refers to those young working groups who for a number of reasons (usually for buying a new house for marriage) have to depend on their parents for income or assistance. To some extent, the forming of the large NEET group (啃老族) in China is caused by the rapidly increasing house price in the major cities.

Dwarf poor dwarfish (矮穷矬) vs Tall rich handsome (高富帅)

Dwarf poor dwarfish (矮穷矬) short, poor and dwarfish. It is in contrast to Tall rich handsome (高富帅).

Tall rich handsome (高富帅) refers to men who are tall, rich, handsome, and they are usually very popular among females.

White rich beautiful (白富美)

White rich beautiful (白富美) group are ladies from a decent family, who are fair-skinned and attractive. White rich beautiful (白富美) are commonly ideal ladies to many men.

According to some experts, these popular identity labeling represent people’s anxiety in their mind caused by the increased the social group gap.

Leave a Reply