October 25, 2012

Most in China See Growing Income Inequality

81%

About eight-in-ten in China see the nation’s rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.

There is a general consensus in China that the economic gains of recent years have not benefited everyone equally: 81% agree with the statement the “rich just get richer while the poor get poorer,” and 45% completely agree.

Roughly half (48%) say the gap between rich and poor is a very serious problem, up from 41% four years ago (fully 87% consider it at least a moderately big problem).

And some Chinese doubt whether simply working hard is enough to guarantee success in today’s China. While 45% agree with the statement “most people can succeed if they are willing to work hard,” one-in-three disagrees.

Those who are doing better economically are much more likely to see a link between effort and success – 62% of higher-income Chinese believe most people can be successful if they work hard, compared with 45% of middle- and 44% of lower-income respondents.

In another sign that many do not see a level playing field in Chinese society, there are growing worries about corruption. Half now say corrupt officials are a very big problem, up 11 percentage points since 2008; and 32% say this about corrupt business people, also up 11 points from four years ago. Read More