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China needs more inclusive growth
January 19, 2013, 8:44 pm


Investors view stock prices in Wuhan, China. [Getty Images]

China’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed figures that show a battle of inequity at the heart of the China growth narrative.

A monitoring index states the gap between China’s wealthy and poor has reached what experts consider an alarming level in China.

The Bureau said the Gini coefficient hit 0.474 in China in 2012, higher than the warning level of 0.4 set by the United Nations.

According to data provided by the bureau on Friday, China’s Gini coefficient has been retreating gradually from a peak level of 0.491 in 2008, Ma Jiantang, China’s top statistics official, told a press conference in Beijing.

The Gini coefficient ranges from 0, which represents perfect equality, to 1, for absolute inequality.

The report highlights the skewed income and wealth distribution in China and the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

The index stood at 0.473 in 2004, but after the financial crisis in 2008, it gradually dropped from its peak of 0.491 that year “as the government took measures to bring benefits for its people”, Ma said.

“But China’s Gini coefficient, between 0.47 and 0.49 during the past decade, was still relatively high, indicating the country must accelerate its income distribution reform to narrow the rich-poor gap,” he said.

The Gini coefficient provided by the NBS presented a similar trend to that provided by the World Bank.

There are now 1,020,000 millionaires in China–a national record–and 63,500 “super-rich” Chinese, according to a Huran wealth report in 2012.

With Inputs from Agencies