Income Inequality Bigger in U.S.

According to data gathered by the World Wealth & Income Database and published by the National Bureau of Research, income inequality is bigger in the United States than it is in China. The research indicates that the bottom half of earners make 12% of income while the top 1% makes 20% of income.

The same data shows that in China, earners at the bottom make more collectively than those in the top with the lower half making 15% of total income and the top making about 13%. The report stated that although the Chinese government still has time to reverse the income inequality gap, its very existence could lead to the end of the Communist Party. Today, it continues to be a major source of societal strife and conflict. The report, however, points to economic reform during the 80s which saw the country open its doors to foreign investment and trade as the main driver of income inequality. It cited these as having similar boons for the richest in the U.S., but noted the bottom half saw “absolutely no growth” during the same time period.

Recently, the Chinese government has increased rural resident’s incomes and limited tax burdens on low-to-middle income workers, while placing caps on the salaries of government enterprise officials.

Authors of the report recommended improving education, increasing access to skills for the bottom 50 percent, and boosting minimum wages among other suggestions.

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.