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China's widening wealth gap makes it among world's most unequal countries: Survey

Published on Dec 10, 2012 4:10 PM
 
This picture, taken on Dec 7, 2012, shows a homeless man lying on his bed in an underpass in Beijing. China's wealth gap has widened to a level where it is among the world's most unequal nations, a Chinese academic institute said in a survey. -- PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - China's wealth gap has widened to a level where it is among the world's most unequal nations, a Chinese academic institute said in a survey, as huge numbers of poor are left behind by the economic boom.

China's Gini coefficient - a commonly used measure of inequality - was 0.61 in 2010, the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance said, well above what some academics view as the warning line of 0.40.

A figure of 0 would represent perfect equality, and 1 total inequality.

"Currently, China's household income gap is huge," said the institute, founded by the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics and the Institute of Financial Research, which operates under China's central bank.

 
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