World News

China Reveals Economic Gap Between Rich, Poor

Workers ride a tricycle outside a construction site of a residential real estate project in Beijing, China, January 13, 2013.
Workers ride a tricycle outside a construction site of a residential real estate project in Beijing, China, January 13, 2013.
VOA News
China has released statistics on the income gap between rich and poor after keeping the figures secret since 2000.

Ma Jiantang, chief of the National Bureau of Statistics, told a news conference Friday that figures from 2003 to the present showed "the income gap was rather big."

The NBS used the "Gini coefficient" - a standard measure of economic inequality to measure the gap. The index ranges from 0 - perfect equality, to 1 - total inequality. Jiantang told reporters that China's coefficient stood at 0.474 last year, placing the country among some of the world's most unequal societies.

China's economic boom has made billionaires out of some entrepreneurs, and Communist Party officials seem to live in luxury. However, the majority of China's people have experienced little growth in income.

Narrowing the economic gap is one of the most pressing issues issues facing the government, which fears that civil unrest could topple the ruling party.

Feature Story

FILE - In this June 20, 2014 file photo, immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally stand in line for tickets at the bus station after they were released from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in McAllen, Texas.

Mixed Signals on Second Migrant Wave at US Border

The number of Central Americans apprehended at the border peaked in June, but reports from migrants indicate more might be on the way More