China’s per capita GDP exceeds $10,000

By Lu Ya’nan, People’s Daily

China recently released its economic performance of 2019. The country’s GDP totaled 99.0865 trillion yuan ($14.38 trillion), up 6.1 percent year on year. Besides, the per capita GDP of the country surpassed $10,000 for the first time, reaching $10,276.

During the past 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the country has grown from a country of basic survival to an economy of nearly 100 trillion yuan.

“This not only signified the continuous expansion of the size of our economy, but also marked the stable improvement in the quality of our economy as well as our people’s livelihood. The Chinese people’s efforts in this regard have not only laid a solid foundation for China’s realization of a moderately prosperous society in all respects but also contributed to the development and progress of mankind,” said Ning Jizhe, head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Jan. 17, adding that such performance is of landmark significance.

China’s GDP almost reached 100 trillion yuan in 2019, or $14.4 trillion at the average exchange rate, ranking the second in the world. To make such a remarkable achievement was no easy task.

In 1952, the country’s GDP was only 67.9 billion yuan. In 1986, or 37 years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the country’s GDP rose to 1 trillion. China spent 14 years to increase the figure tenfold to 10 trillion, and another 19 years to make it to nearly 100 trillion.

According to statistics released by the World Bank, the population of countries with per capita GDP above $10,000 was nearly 1.5 billion in 2018. As China, a country with a population of 1.4 billion, enters the ranks of such countries, their collective population has nearly doubled.

Ning introduced that China’s GDP is expected to account for more than 16 percent of global GDP in 2019, and contribute about 30 percent to global growth. China remains the most powerful engine of world economic growth. Its per capita GDP is now among the ranks of the world’s middle-income countries, and its human development index status has further improved.

China’s per capita GDP crossing the mark of $10,000 suggested larger size of its economy, and will help the country improve its capability to shape a more favorable international environment, and consolidate its status as the second largest economy of the world, said Xu Wei, deputy director of the Department of Macroeconomic Research Development under the Research Center of the State Council.

“The huge domestic market formed by 1.4 billion people also offers important opportunities for each country to expand their business,” he added.

China’s economic growth stood at 6.1 percent last year, achieving its target of 6 to 6.5 percent set for the whole year and ranking the first among the countries with per capita GDP above $10,000. Such performance carries huge significance.

In 2019, consumer price went up by 2.9% over the previous year, meeting the projected target of around 3%. The core CPI excluding the prices of food and energy went up by 1.6%, a growth rate lower than that of the previous year.

In 2019, the monthly surveyed unemployment rates in urban areas stayed within the range of 5.0% to 5.3%, achieving the projected target of around 5.5% and below. In December, the urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.2%. A total of 13.52 million new urban jobs were created last year, exceeding the target of creating over 11 million urban jobs, which marked the seventh year in a row for China to create over 13 million urban jobs.

In 2019, the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents exceeded 30,000 yuan for the first time, reaching 30,733 yuan. Residents’ income grew at the same pace as the economy and per capita GDP. The per capita disposable income of rural households saw a real growth of 6.2 percent after deducting price factors. The growth continued outpacing that of the urban residents, once again narrowing the urban-rural income gap.

“China’s economy has a stable and sound momentum and the trend for its continued development in the long run has remained unchanged,” Ning noted, adding that “As long as we leverage our strengths, consolidate and build on what we have achieved, there will always be hope when facing the complex and changing economic situation. We will certainly be able to turn risks into opportunities and continue to forge ahead.”