Fast Facts on Inequality in China


pdf (0.7MB)


Fast Facts on Inequality in China

July 15, 2015

China’s development in recent decades has seen substantial improvement to the livelihoods of millions of people in economic and social terms, with a Human Development Index score of 0.719 in 2013 placing it in the “high human development” bracket.

At the beginning of 2015 the government announced reduced targets for GDP growth of 7% per year, an adopted status quo dubbed ‘the new normal’. This growth will increasingly be powered by a service-based economy and domestic consumption, demanding new skills from China’s workforce. At the same time, population ageing and rapid urbanization are introducing new social and economic pressures.

Consequentially, inequality persists and on some measures is widening. Inequality exists regionally, inter-generationally, demographically and between ethnicities and genders. Many of those raised above the $1.25/day poverty line still have precarious livelihoods that are vulnerable to shock. Inequality is found in economic, social, judicial, environmental dimensions and more.

Recognizing that inequality restricts human development, UNDP China currently addresses inequality in a cross-cutting manner, focusing on the structural barriers to equity. This document summarizes UNDP China's work on inequality.