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Gini coefficient release highlights China's resolve to bridge wealth gap

By Yang Lina (Xinhua)

08:41, January 22, 2013

Ma Jiantang (C), director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), gives an introduction on China's national economic situation of 2012 at a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 18, 2013. China's State Council here held a press conference to release China's national economic situation of 2012 on Friday. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- China's first release of the Gini coefficient for the past decade demonstrated the government’s resolve to bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

The Gini coefficient, a widely used measure of economic inequality, reached 0.474 in China in 2012, higher than the warning level of 0.4 set by the United Nations, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The rich-poor index has been retreated gradually since hitting a peak of 0.491 in 2008, dropping to 0.49 in 2009, 0.481 in 2010 and 0.477 in 2011, Ma Jiantang, director of the NBS, told a press conference Friday.

The index stood at 0.479 in 2003, 0.473 in 2004, 0.485 in 2005, 0.487 in 2006 and 0.484 in 2007.

The latest release marked the first time China announced an official broad-based Gini coefficient since 2000.

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