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Tibet Leads West China in Per Capita Income
City dwellers in the Tibet Autonomous Region in Southwest China recorded an average disposable income of 7,760 yuan (US$938) a year in 2002, about 50 percent higher than in 1997.

The figure, from the regional statistical bureau, is the highest recorded by any of the 11 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in western China.

City residents in Yunnan Province ranked second on the list, earning 7,628 yuan (US$919) in per capita disposable income last year. They were followed by their counterparts in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Chongqing, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Sichuan, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Gansu, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Guizhou.

Today's Tibetans have a significantly improved standard of living, spending more on clothing, cultural activities, gymnastics, hairdressing and skin care.

In urban areas, people are buying not only computers and mobile phones, but also automobiles. More than 10,000 private cars were registered in the regional capital of Lhasa last year.

Tibet's gross domestic product has grown at an average of 10.9 percent annually in recent years, reaching 15.9 billion yuan (US$1.9 billion) last year.

The region registered a 12.4 percent economic growth rate last year, higher than the national average of 8 percent.

Retail sales in the region rose to 5.25 billion yuan (US$634 million) in 2002, 61.3 percent higher than the figure for 1997.

(China Daily April 28, 2003)

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