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Experts: China's urban poverty worsens
Updated: 2006-02-13 09:01

Despite the country's booming economy China's urban poverty has worsened according to the China Youth Daily which quotes dozens of economists.

The economists told the paper that the proportion of urban residents living in poverty is now higher than that of rural residents. The poverty rate in China's cities is six to eight percent, which is higher than that in the countryside.

The number of rural residents living in poverty fell from 250 million in 1978 to 26.1 million in 2004.

Previously the urban poor were made up of those who were incapable of working but they now include many unemployed people, experts said.

Farmers moving to cities, laid-off workers of state-owned enterprises, residents in resource-exhausted cities and senior citizens relying only on pensions make up the largest proportion of the urban poor, experts said.

China has not established an urban poverty standard nor conducted related research on national basis. Only after those are completed can the country begin to tackle the problem, experts said.

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