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China Daily Website

Poverty rate higher in ethnic minority areas

Updated: 2012-11-29 07:21
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The poverty rate in regions populated by ethnic minorities is 13.8 percentage points higher than China's national average, according official statistics.

A survey released Wednesday by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission revealed that in 2011, there were 39.17 million impoverished people living in rural areas of eight provinces and autonomous regions predominantly inhabited by ethnic minorities -- Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Guizhou and Qinghai.

They accounted for 26.5 percent of the total rural population in those autonomous regions and provinces, and made up 32 percent of the poor people living in countryside of the 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland, according to the commission.

Among these impoverished people in the eight regions, nearly 80 percent are from Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan.

China last year raised its national poverty threshold for farmers to 2,300 yuan ($365.6) in annual net income from the previous 1,274 yuan set in 2010, including more people into the government's poverty alleviation projects.

Under the new threshold standard, China last year had 122 million people eligible for government anti-poverty subsidies, or 12.7 percent of the rural population.

Ethnic minority regions are still the crucial and most challenging parts in the country's poverty alleviation, the commission said.

Anti-poverty efforts in ethnic minority areas of the country's southwestern regions are even more arduous, it added.