Summary of What Is the Level of Income Inequality in China?

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Experts believe that the growing income inequality in China is a threat to social stability – and thus to the government. Fu Yifu, a researcher at the Suning Institute of Finance, takes a look at the changes in income inequality since the beginning of the 21st century. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone interested in Chinese societal issues. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • How income equality in China changed between 1995 and 2017,
  • What level of income equality in China exists in different industries and regions, and
  • What the Chinese government could do about it.

About the Author

Fu Yifu is a researcher at the Suning Institute of Finance, which publishes more than 400 articles every month on topics like financial technology, consumer finance, supply chain finance, macroeconomy, regional economy and industrial development.



China’s Gini coefficient – a ratio that represents a country’s income or wealth distribution – has exceeded 0.4 since 2000. That’s the mark where the gap between rich and poor is so large that experts consider it to be a potential threat to social stability. Income inequality rose sharply to 0.479 from 0.409 between 2000 and 2003. Since 2003, China’s Gini coefficient has never been below 0.46. In 2016, the disposable income per person among the top 20% of Chinese earners was on average ¥59,259.50 [$8,625]. It was only ¥5,528.70 per person for the lowest-earning 20% of the population. 

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