China’s Engel’s coefficient in 2016 stood at 30.1%, down by 2.9% over 2012, said Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) at a press conference held by the country’s State Council Information Office on Oct. 10.
According to Ning, the figure is close to the well-off line of 20 to 30 percent set by the UN.
The Engel coefficient, the proportion of money spent on food in household expenses, is seen as an indicator of a nation’s standard of living.
The average disposable income of Chinese citizens increased by an annual average of 7.4% since 2012 to 23,821 RMB ($3,611), Ning noted.
The proportions of expenses on transportation and communication, education, culture and recreation, and health care and medical services to the consumption expenditure increased by 2.0%, 0.7%, and 1.3%, respectively, as compared with those in 2012.
In addition, targeted poverty alleviation has also achieved fruitful results. The impoverished population in rural areas numbered 43.35 million in 2016, or 55.64 million less than that in 2012; and the impoverishment rate decreased to 4.5 percent, down by 5.7 percentage points compared to that of 2012.
In addition, from 2013 to 2016, the per capita disposable income of rural households in impoverished areas grew by 10.7 percent annually in real terms, 2.7 percentage points faster than that of the country’s total rural households.
According to the NBS chief, the social security system was established and improved. In 2016, the proportion of personal health payments to total health expenditures dropped to less than 30 percent. Basic health insurance achieved full coverage and a social security system covering urban and rural residents was basically established.
Furthermore, social undertakings enjoyed comprehensive development. The average number of years of schooling received by the population aged 15 and over increased from 9.05 years in 2010 to 9.42 years in 2015. China’s average life expectancy increased to 76.34 years in 2015 from 74.83 years in 2010.
(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)