Number of Chinese Receiving a Subsistence Allowance

Gloria Van Rees

We usually highlight purely economic data, but a number in China’s economic performance that often gets over looked is the number of Chinese on some form of social welfare. The subsistence allowance is a social welfare plan of a small monthly stipend issued by the government to, as the name refers, provide subsistence for those in poverty. In the graph below the gap between rural and urban recipients is evident. The rate of rural poor receiving the allowance is nearly triple the number of urbanites. It is worth noting that these are government provided numbers, with little way to verify if a decrease in the number of those receiving subsistence allowances is due to employment or wage increases or a change in the program to make fewer eligible for the allowance.