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Pressure takes its toll on Beijingers: survey

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

08:48, October 26, 2012

More feeling the strain from life in the capital, report finds

More than 30 percent of those polled are feeling increasing pressure from living in China's capital, according to a newly released report by the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences.

Medical expenses, rising housing prices, old-age security and the growing price of commodities are the four major sources of this pressure, said Li Yang, a researcher with the academy.

Figures from report show per capita disposable income for urban residents rose by 86 percent from 2005 to 2011, while rural per capita net income grew by 87 percent during the same period. Both have risen faster than the consumer price index, or price increases.

However, the income gap continues to be a problem, with consumption levels between rural and urban residents seeing only a slight improvement over the same period, the academy said.

The income gap between industries continues to widen, with the real-estate sector offering the highest average salary among all 17 traditional industries studied by the academy, 2.8 times higher than the supermarket retail industry.

But the rise in incomes is far below the increase in GDP during the same period, the report said.

In addition to complaining about income disparity, of the 101 poll participants 32.6 percent said they are facing increased pressure from living in Beijing.

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