Beijing's Middle Class Reaches 5.4 Million
    2010-07-19 18:42:47     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Liu Donghui
 
A recently-released report shows the middle class in Beijing, capital of China, has reached 5.4 million, about 40 percent of the city's permanent residents, Qianlong.com reports.

The report, co-released on Sunday by the Beijing University of Technology and the Social Sciences Academic Press, said the average monthly income of a middle-class Beijinger is over 5,900 yuan, (873 U.S. dollars), and a middle-class family earns some 10,000 yuan (1,475 U.S. dollars) per month on average.

A 2006 report from the World Bank defined the middle class in developing countries as earning an annual per capita income of at least 4,000 U.S. dollars (about 27,100 yuan). The average annual income of a middle class Beijing resident is 71,076 yuan, two and a half times more than the minimum.

Though the percentage of middle class residents in Beijing is higher than the national average of 23 percent, there is still a wide gap between the two ends of the group.

The report divides the middle class into three levels. At the top are 560,000 Beijingers who are generally well-educated, influential and owners of homes, cars and other luxuries. Their income is nine times that of the low level.

The low-level middle class members, however, suffer from heavy pressure and account for most of the so-called "house slaves" and "car slaves," meaning they must spend a large part of their income on mortgages for housing and cars.

by Chen Yanchang
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