Urban income gap widens to alarming level The State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC)
said in a report issued on Sunday that China's urban income gap between rich and
poor has widened to an alarming and unreasonable level.
Updated: 2006-02-06 19:21
The SDRC made the announcement in line with a social investigation into
China's urban residents and relevant statistics from the National Bureau of
The SDRC said China's income gap is continually expanding. At present,
China's Gini Coefficient (an internationally accepted measurement of income
equality) is 0.4, the international benchmark for alarm.
And the SDRC warns the actual figure may be even higher as a number of
incomes may have been underestimated.
Statistics show that the 20 percent low-income group in China's cities only
get 2.75 percent of the country's total urban income, or equivalent to only 4.6
percent of the income of China's 20 percent top-level rich group.
The SDRC said the widening income inequality gap is occurring in line with
China's economic and social development.
It attributes the growing income gap between different industries, between
the employers and the employees, and the increase in income earned outside of
main work as the main reasons for the inequality.
Professor Li Yingsheng of the Renmin University of China, who participated in
the social investigation on urban income, said China is still lacking an income
Professor Li urges the government to further increase the proportion of
middle-level income groups and try to raise the income of the lowest-level
groups, to achieve a stable social classification.
Officials with the SDRC said the government has also pledged to take tougher
measures in the coming years to curb the increasing inequality and make China's
income distribution more reasonable.