Jun 06, 2020 06:54 PM

Opinion: China Has 600 Million People With Monthly Income Less Than $141. Is That True?

There are still some 600 million people whose monthly income is barely 1,000 yuan ($141) in China, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said last month at a press conference following the annual session of the country’s top legislature.

Li’s remarks sparked heated discussion, with many doubting whether China really has so many people living on such low incomes.

The premier’s words are true. After analyzing a random sample of 70,000 families collected by the National Bureau of Statistics, our team at the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University found that nearly 42.9% of the people in the sample had a household monthly income per person of no more than 1,090 yuan in 2019.

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