URUMQI -- The average per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen in far west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region grew by 19.6 percent year on year to reach 4,642.67 yuan (US$703) last year, local authorities said Wednesday.
That growth rate was 4.7 percentage points higher than the national average, topping all the other 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the mainland for the first time, said Wang Guirong, deputy head of the Xinjiang Survey Unit under the National Bureau of Statistics.
Wang attributed the growth to migrant workers from Xinjiang earning more, higher prices for agricultural goods and government subsidies for rural residents.
Xinjiang has encouraged its underemployed rural folk to seek work outside the region which has boosted incomes, Wang said.
In 2010, prices of agricultural products in Xinjiang rose by 31.5 percent, which put more money into rural people's pockets, he said.
In addition, the government offered subsides to farmers and herdsmen last year to increase their incomes, such as subsidies for purchasing seeds and agriculture machinery, he added.
Despite the fast growth, the average per capita net income of Xinjiang's farmers and herdsmen still lags behind the national average, which stood at 5,919 yuan last year, up 14.9 percent year on year.