I have learned some interesting things as it relates to poverty and Early Childhood Studies. I will share some interesting information I found about poverty in China.
The prevailing view of poverty in China, according to the World Bank, holds that it is exclusively a rural phenomenon, especially prevalent in western China, remote areas and minority regions; it is highly concentrated in clusters of poor villages; and it is more prevalent among girls, women and the elderly, mainly affecting people who are unable to work.
The report finds that, while there are elements of truth in some of these perceptions, poverty is far more differentiated in China. Among its findings:
• Geography and ethnicity are relevant, but they’re not the sole determinants of poverty. Levels of poverty are higher and more severe in China’s western regions, but nearly half of the poor are in other parts of the country. People living in remote, mountainous areas are two to three times more likely to be poor than those who live in more central areas, and the incidence of poverty among ethnic minorities is two to three times higher than among the Han Chinese. Still, about half of the poor in China are neither living in remote areas nor members of an ethnic minority.
• The poor are dispersed throughout China’s villages, not concentrated in poor villages. As overall poverty declines in China, it tends to become more dispersed. This has important policy implications, since it makes it harder for the government to target whole areas for poverty reduction. Instead, new approaches that target poverty at the household-level will become more relevant.
• Most of China’s poor are able to work. Nearly three-quarters of China’s rural poor live in households where every member has the ability to do work, and 97% live in households with at least two members who are able to work. (“Able to work” means any person over 16, including the elderly, who is physically capable of working). Only 7% of the rural poor lacked the capacity to work. Poverty is more closely correlated with low levels of education, the report says.
• Children, especially girls, are more likely to be poor than the elderly. Overall, poverty rates for male and female adults and the elderly population is very close – between 12% and 13%. But poverty rates are higher among children under 16 years old: 16% of boys and 17% of girls are poor. Girls are also more at risk than boys of becoming poor.