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Changes in People's Living Standards, Welfare

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is dedicated to serving the people heart and soul and bringing benefits to the people, the CPC's mouthpiece People's Daily said in a commentary on Monday.

The commentary listed some major facts and figures about the improvement in the people's living standards and welfare in the past three decades.

-- In terms of personal income, the annual per capita disposable income of urban residents went up from 343 yuan in 1978to 11,759 yuan in 2006, and the annual per capita net income of rural people rose from 134 yuan to 3,578 yuan during the same period.

-- The per capita housing area for urban residents rose from 3.6 square meters in 1978 to 21.3 square meters in 2005, and rural residents saw their average housing area increase from 8.1 square meters to 29.7 square meters.

-- At the end of 2005, 99.2 percent of urban households were supplied with pipeline gas or liquefied gas, and 90.6 percent of rural houses had sanitary facilities.

-- With the world's largest rural population, China's central finance allocated 339.7 billion yuan in 2006 to address the problems concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers, a rise of 42.2 billion yuan over that in 2005. Taxes on agriculture and special farm produces were abolished across the country in 2006.

-- A community-based health service network has covered almost all cities and counties. About 410 million farmers have joined the new rural cooperative medical care system, under which the central government, local government and farmer pay 10 yuan each to a fund pool which helps ease rural residents' financial burdens in medical treatment.

-- In the nine-year compulsory education, the central government remitted 52 million students from under-developed western and central regions their tuition fees and extras in 2006.A total of 37.3 million poor students were offered free textbooks and 7.8 million board students were subsidized with living allowances.

-- By June last year, more than 57 percent of Chinese people had telephones or cell phones. About 41.5 percent of urban households owned computers, and two percent of rural homes got access to computers.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2007)

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