Poverty Monitoring in Rural China

Type Working Paper
Title Poverty Monitoring in Rural China
URL http://dirp4.pids.gov.ph/ris/ris/wbi/Country report_China.PDF
Poverty alleviation and elimination is one of the largest challenges in the
developing process of China as well as of all other countries in the world. With
strenuous endeavor, China has achieved great success in anti-poverty struggle in past
two decades. The population in poverty dropped from about 250 million in 1978 to
125 million in 1985, as the continuous 7 years showed high speed of economic
increase in rural areas. Since 1986, Chinese government has been planing and
organizing a lot of large-scale anti-poverty programs all over China. By the end of
1992, the poverty population of rural China was reduced to 80 million and poverty
head counting rate was 8.8%.
In order to eliminate absolute poverty essentially in rural area at the end of the
20th, the Chinese government launched famous ‘8-7’ poverty-relief program in 1994.
592 poorest counties, selected from more than 2000 counties of China, were defined
as nationwide poverty-stricken counties with more poor population were targeted in
this well organized large-scale program. It’s aimed at helping the poverty-stricken
area to reconstruct infrastructure, improving natural conditions and increasing
population quality in 7 years before the end of 2000 with the financial support from
central and local governments. It has been approved that this program has made
rapid progress in poverty reduction. Through 6 years’ effort, the number of people
living in extremely poor has dropped to 34 million, and the poverty head count rate
was 3.7% in 1999 while the relative figure was 80 million before the program was
carried out.
As a part of the endeavor of poverty reduction of Chinese government, National
Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China has paid a great attention on poverty monitoring.
Since the middle of 1980s, Rural Household Survey was used to capture the national 2
poverty incidence. From 1994, some regional poverty monitoring systems were set
up to reflect to poverty information and to evaluate the impacts of some regional
anti-poverty programs. A National Poverty Monitoring System was formally set up
in 1997 to reflect and disseminate information on the national poverty issue, to
evaluate the impacts of the poverty alleviation activities, and to provide full map of
poverty and its change for policy-maker.

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