Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China
Living standards improved markedly. In 1952, China's GDP was RMB67.9 billion, with a per capita GDP of RMB119. In 2018, China's GDP reached RMB90 trillion, 175 times that of the 1952 figure in real terms. The per capita GDP was RMB64,644, and the per capita gross national income was US$9,732-above the average level of middle-income countries. The per capita disposable income of Chinese citizens in 1956 was RMB98, and the per capita consumer spending was RMB88. In 2018, the per capita disposable income reached RMB28,228, a 36.8-fold increase in real terms over that of 1956; the per capita consumer spending was RMB19,853, a 28.5-fold increase over 1956 in real terms; the Engel coefficient was 28.4 percent, 35.5 percentage points lower than that of 1978. In 2018, every 100 urban households had 41 family cars, and every 100 rural households had 22.3 family cars; every 100 households had 249.1 mobile phones.
Following the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the real growth in disposable rural income has outpaced urban income. The gap between urban and rural incomes has narrowed, with the ratio falling to 2.69 in 2018.
Safe drinking water. A program was launched in 2005 to guarantee safe drinking water in rural areas. By the end of 2018, a total of 520 million rural residents and 47 million teachers and students in rural areas had gained access to safe drinking water, 173 million rural residents had a better and more steady supply of drinking water, and the percentages of centralized water supply and running water supply reached 86 percent and 81 percent in rural areas. In 2009 China attained one of the UN Millennium Development Goals-halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water-six years ahead of schedule. As of 2018, there were more than 11 million water supply facilities in rural areas, and a complete rural water supply system had been formed to serve 940 million people.
The government has conducted examination and assessment of key drinking water sources nationwide, to ensure they meet safety standards. In 2016, 618 surface water sources, each supplying drinking water for 200,000 people or more, and all ground water sources, each supplying 20 million or more cu m of drinking water annually, were incorporated into the Catalogue of China's Major Drinking Water Sources. In 2018, 90.9 percent of the 871 drinking water sources serving cities at the prefecture level and above reached the required standard. In 2018, 90 percent of all households had piped water supply, 95.2 percent had access to safe drinking water, and 96.3 percent had convenient access to drinking water.