China has experienced profound economic and social transformation over the last 35 years, achieving extraordinary success in human development and poverty reduction. The economy has grown at an average of over 9% since economic reforms began in 1978. Per capita incomes have increased fifty-fold over the same period and 600 million people have been lifted out of poverty. National GDP increased from RMB 10.0 trillion in 2000 to RMB 63.6 trillion in 2014, meaning that China now ranks second in the world. China’s fast economic growth has offered the strong support to the growth of the incomes of its urban and rural residents and to its poverty reduction process.
China has attached great importance to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Over the past 15 years, China has made notable progress in many areas such as eliminating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, ensuring healthcare for women and children, disease control and prevention and environmental protection. Its Human Development Index (HDI) increased from 0.423 in 1980 to 0.719 in 2013, a change of 70%, placing China in the high human development category at 91 out of 187 countries and territories.
Sources: 2014 Human Development Report;World Bank;China National Bureau of Statistics 2014