søndag 28. februar 2021

Has China lifted 100 million people out of poverty?

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country has reached the ambitious goal set when he assumed office in 2012 of lifting 100 million people out of poverty. But what has China actually achieved? We've compared the Chinese data with global poverty figures compiled by the World Bank.Poverty is defined by China as anyone in rural areas earning less than about $2.30 a day (adjusted for inflation). It was fixed in 2010 and looks at income but also living conditions, healthcare and education.

Provinces have been racing to reach the goal. Jiangsu, for example, announced in January last year that only 17 of its 80 million residents still lived in poverty. The national benchmark used by the Chinese government is slightly higher than the $1.90 a day poverty line used by the World Bank to look at poverty globally. Using these figures gives us a better standard measurement used by the World Bank across all countries.

In 1990 there were more than 750 million people in China living below the international poverty line - about two-thirds of the population. By 2012, that had fallen to fewer than 90 million, and by 2016 - the most recent year for which World Bank figures are available - it had fallen to 7.2 million people (0.5% of the population). So clearly, even in 2016 China was well on the way to reaching its target. This suggests that overall, 745 million fewer people were living in extreme poverty in China than were 30 years ago.