Income Gap – China

Survey in China shows wide income gap, By Edward Wong, July 19, 2013, New York Times: “Results of a wide-ranging survey of Chinese family wealth and living habits released this week by Peking University show a wide gap in income between the nation’s top earners and those at the bottom, and a vast difference between earners in top-tier coastal cities and those in interior provinces. The survey found that in 2012, the households in the top 5 percent income bracket earned 23 percent of the nation’s total household income. The households in the lowest 5 percent accounted for just 0.1 percent of total income…”

China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study

  • Aging Chinese face a bleak picture, By Tom Orlik, May 30, 2013, Wall Street Journal: “China’s elderly are poor, sick and depressed in alarming numbers, according to the first large-scale survey of those over 60, an immense challenge for Beijing and one of the greatest long-term vulnerabilities of the Chinese economy. The survey of living conditions for China’s 185 million elderly paints a bleak picture that defies the efforts of the government to build what it calls a ‘harmonious society,’ one dedicated to human welfare rather than simply economic growth. Of the generation that built China’s economic boom, 22.9%—or 42.4 million—live in poverty with consumption of less than 3,200 yuan a year ($522). The fear of being old and poor, which prompts many Chinese to stash away their earnings, also cuts against another of Beijing’s priorities: to rebalance the economy toward stronger consumption…”
  • New portrait of China’s 185 million seniors, By Charles Riley, May 31, 2013, CNNMoney: “The study, with a sample size of almost 18,000, offers a rare snapshot of China’s rapidly aging population. China currently has more than 185 million citizens over the age of 60. The elderly now account for around 12% of China’s population, a figure that is predicted to swell to 34% by 2050. And significant challenges are ahead. At present, 32% of elderly Chinese reported having poor health, 38% said they were disabled, 23% are below the poverty line and 40% show symptoms of depression…”

Poverty Measurement – China

  • China raises poverty line, increasing number of official poor by 100 million, Associated Press, November 29, 2011, Washington Post: “Even with its booming economy, China now has more poor people – at least officially. A sharp upward revision in the official poverty line, announced by the government Tuesday, means that 128 million Chinese in rural areas now qualify as poor, 100 million more than under the previous standard. The new threshold of about $1 a day nearly doubles the previous amount. While the revised poverty line is still below the World Bank threshold of $1.25 a day, the change brings China closer to international norms and better reflects the country’s overall higher standards of living after three decades of buoyant growth…”
  • China increases rural poverty limit to $1 a day, November 29, 2011, BBC News: “China has redefined the level at which people in rural areas are considered poor to include everyone earning less than $1 a day (6.5 yuan). Previously people in the countryside were only regarded as poor if they earned less than 55 cents a day. The move should see millions more people get access to state benefits. Some 27 million people were classified as rural poor last year. The new threshold is expected to increase that number fourfold…”

Urban-Rural Income Gap – China

Urban-rural income gap widest since opening-up, By Fu Jing, March 2, 2010, China Daily: “China recorded its widest rural-urban income gap last year since the country launched its reform and opening-up policy in 1978. Think tank researchers warned the gap will continue to widen in the coming years if effective measures to narrow the difference are not implemented soon. The urban per capita net income stood at 17,175 yuan ($2,525) last year, in contrast to 5,153 yuan in the countryside, with the urban-to-rural income ratio being 3.33:1, according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics…”

Poverty Measurement – China

Country’s poverty line misleading, expert says, By Wang Zhuoqiong, December 29, 2009, China Daily: “The number of people in China defined as poor would at least triple if not for the country’s decades-old poverty line, a top agriculture expert said. ‘The poverty line in China has not been changed for 20 years in step with the pace of economic development,’ said Li Xiaoyun, dean of the Center of Integrated Agricultural Development of China Agricultural University. China’s poverty line of 1,196 yuan ($175) per capita net income a year is said to be too low compared with the country’s economic development and living standard…”