Rural China

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Introduction to the rural quotient in China

Similar to how the Indian rural economy is made up a large number of heterogeneous villages at various stages of development, the Chinese rural economy is also extremely heterogeneous. There are significant differences in the income levels and other development parameters between villages in the Southern and coastal areas and the rest of the country. The below figure represents the differences in the rural areas of various parts of the country. As seen from the figure, there are significant differences in the income, expenditure levels of the areas in the East/North-East and the central and western areas.

Between 1981 and 2005, an estimated 600 million Chinese people moved out of poverty (US$1/day) and China’s poverty rate dropped from 85% to 15%. According to China’s official statistics, between 1978 to 2007: • China’s per capita rural net income increased from 133RMB to 4,140RMB. • Per capita rural housing space increased from 8.1 to 31.6 square meters. Between 1985 to 2007: • China’s ownership of colour TV per 100 families increased from 0.8 to 94.4 (rural families) and 17.2 to 137.8 (urban). • China’s ownership refrigerators per 100 families increased from 0.1 to 26.1 (rural families) and 6.6 to 95 (urban). In spite of all this progress, • China has about 150 million people living below the United Nations poverty line of one US dollar a day.

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Comparing Rural China with Rural India
Criteria Rural population % of population that is Rural Total adult literacy rate (%), 2005-2010* % of household having TV % of rural population with access to water %of rural population with sanitation facilities Rural population growth (annual %) India 833087662 70.5 74% 33.8 87 21 1%

Nearly 500 million Chinese people live on less than $2 a day. 85% of China’s poor live in rural areas, with about 66% concentrated in the country’s west. 99% of China’s poor live in or come from rural areas In 2009, China’s urban...
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