Posted by: rbbadger | September 6, 2008

China and poverty

A lot of the media focused on how China is changing, how more and more people are getting rich, and how millions have been lifted out of poverty.  One thing that people don’t recognise is that poverty is a real issue in China, even today. 

The Chinese government currently offers benefits to those who make 1,067 yuan ($152US) a year.  They are thinking about raising the poverty line to 1,300 ($186US) of per annum income.  By raising the poverty line, about 80 million people will be eligible for government benefits.  The World Bank estimates that some 207 million people live in poverty in China today based on their calculations.

When China made its transition to a market economy, a lot of people prospered but many more suffered.  No longer does the state provide health care for its citizens.  In China, to get medical care, you have to have money.  There are some real problems facing China, especially as more of its people reach retirement age.  I do not think that a social security system exists in China anymore.  Clearly, some difficult times may soon be in store.

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