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China says the number of rural poor has fallen to 26.1 million people, from 85 million people in 1990. However, the way China measures poverty is disputed and the World Bank says it is much higher.

China is seeing the emergence of a new class of dispossessed - the urban poor. This is due in part to massive redundancies at state-run companies and migration to the cities.

The economic boom has also led to a widening wealth gap, most acute between coastal and interior regions. The richest richest 10% of the population account for 33.1% of consumption, while the poorest 10% do not even reach 2%.

Graphs showing Rural poor in China and Shar of consumption


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