Wednesday, January 14, 2009

China's economic growth as it relates to poverty

The big news about China today is that the country has now surpassed Germany as the world's third largest economy. Let's look further into this story as it relates to poverty alleviation in the country.

With the huge population in China it still makes the average person amongst the world's poorest. However, the economic growth that the county has experienced has brought many of it's people out of poverty.

In this Associated Press story that we found in California's Press Telegram, writer Joe McDonald crunches the numbers.

The United States is the world's biggest economy at $13.8 trillion in 2007, followed by Japan at $4.4 trillion.

Germany's 85 million people were still far ahead of China in GDP per person in 2007 at 28,200 euros ($38,800).

China's GDP per person was 19,800 yuan ($2,800) in 2007, but the country has wide disparities of wealth and poverty, and many live on far less than that. Chinese officials say more than 100 other countries have a higher income per person.

Then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping set China on the road from communist central planning to a market-style economy in 1979. That year's GDP was just $300 billion - one-tenth of the 2007 level - according to the International Monetary Fund.

Over three decades, hundreds of millions of people have lifted themselves out of poverty and major cities have been transformed into forests of skyscrapers and modern apartment blocks, with streets jammed with private cars.

Independent economists say China's economy is believed to have grown by another 9 percent in 2008 despite the global downturn. Figures for 2008 are expected to be released this month.

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