China, the world’s second biggest economy, has eradicated 70 per cent of poverty and its per-capita GDP has grown to USD 8,000 thanks to the three decades of economic development, the government said on Thursday. According to a white paper titled “The Right to Development: China’s Philosophy, Practice and Contribution,” the number of phone connections in China has climbed to 1.54 billion last year with 688 million internet users and over 700 million people were lifted out of poverty in the last three decades.
Among the 1.54 billion people with phone connections, about 1.3 billion people use mobile phones in China, it said. The document, released by the Information Office of the central cabinet, said people’s living standards have significantly improved in the country.
From 1978 to 2015, per capita GDP grew from over USD 200 to above USD 8,000, it said.
In 1978, per capita disposable income of urban residents was only 343.4 yuan, and per capita net income of rural residents was only 133.6 yuan.
In 2015, per capita disposable income of all residents reached 21,966 yuan (USD 3662) and the figures were 31,195 yuan for urban residents and 11,422 yuan for rural residents, state-run Xinhua quoted the white paper as saying.
Chinese residents made 127.86 million outbound trips in the same year, including 121.72 million private trips, it said, adding that China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty through more than 30 years of reform, accounting for more than 70 per cent of the global reduction in poverty.
With the economic development, the average life expectancy in the nation has grown from 35 years in 1949 to 76.3 years in 2015, ranking high among the developing countries, it said.
The level of education has also soared. In 1949, more than 80 per cent of the national population was illiterate, and the enrolment rate of school-age children was only 20 per cent.
In 2015, net enrolment rate of school-age children at the primary school stage was 99.88 per cent and that at the senior high school stage was 87 per cent.
China’s higher education has approached the level of medium-developed countries, the paper said.
China’s Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014 ranked 90th among 188 countries, already in the high human development group, it said, citing the “China National Human Development Report 2016” released by the United Nations.
The number of non-governmental organisations that had registered at offices of civil affairs in China hit 670,000 by June 2016, it said.