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Rural Income in China Rises Faster

Income growth of rural residents outstripped that of their urban counterparts in China in the first nine months of this year, according to official statistics.

A survey of 68,000 rural households nationwide showed that average cash income per person reached 3,321 yuan (US$442) for the first three quarters of this year. After taking into account inflation, it rose 14.8 percent over the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Friday.

The NBS also found that after sampling 59,000 urban households, the per-capita disposable income of the country's urban residents grew by 13.2 percent in real terms to 10,346 yuan over the first three quarters of this year.

This comes against a background of a widening gap between rich and poor in China. Statistics released in September showed that the average annual income of urban residents in 2006 was 3.28 times that of their rural counterparts, up from 3.22 in 2005 and 3.21 in 2004.

An NBS official said a wage increase for non-farming jobs and price rises of farm products are major factors fuelling income growth for rural residents.

According to NBS figures, both the per-capita wage income and the income from selling farm products for rural residents rose around 20 percent in the first nine months. The country has been increasing investment in rural areas to narrow the income gap between rural and urban residents.

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2007)

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