Figure 2.7 National Gini index, 2003–2017
CHAPTER 2 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Source: National Bureau of Statistics, China Yearbook of Household Survey, 2018
The national Gini index a estimate ranged from 0.462 to 0.491 across China between 2003 and 2017, indicating a high level of income inequality. However, the rising trend has been curbed since 2008 and is showing a fall back. The rural-urban dual economy and unequal access to public services may contribute, among others, to the high level of income inequality.
a Although there are no internationally defined standard cut-off values, it’s commonly recognized that Gini index<0.2 corresponds with perfect income equality, 0.2–0.3 corresponds with relative equality, 0.3–0.4 corresponds with a relatively reasonable income gap, 0.4–0.5 corresponds with high income disparity, above 0.5 corresponds with severe income disparity.