key quotes (full article below): "'In the last 3 decades, China alone has lifted more people out of extreme poverty than the rest of the world combined. Indeed, China’s ($1/day) poverty reduction of 627 million from 1981 to 2005 exceeds the total global economy’s decline in its extremely poor from 1.9 billion to 1.4 billion over the same period.' "
- China contained 22% of the world’s population when its reforms began in 1978, so the percentage of the world’s population directly benefitting from China’s rapid economic growth is seven times that of the 3% of the world’s population in the US or Japan when they began rapid growth, or the 2% of the world's population in the UK at the time of Industrial Revolution.
- China’s 9.9% average increase in GDP per capita during the two last five year plans is the fastest economic growth per capita ever achieved by a major country in human history.
- In the same period China’s annual average 8.1% increase in household consumption, and 8.3% annual increase in total consumption, including state expenditure on items vital for quality of life such as education and health, was the fastest of any major economy. Coupled with a life expectancy above that which would be expected from China’s GDP per capita it is evident China experienced the most rapid increase in living standards of any country.
- Measured in Parity Purchasing Powers (PPPs) – that is the real increase in output in steel, cars, transport, services etc. - the greatest absolute increase in output ever recorded in single year by the US was in 1999 when it added $567 billion in output. But in 2010 China added $1,126 billion – more than twice the increase in output in a single year ever achieved by any other country in human history.
- Life expectancy in China is nine years longer than in India – a country which at the end of the 1940s had a higher GDP per capita than China.
- Measured per thousand people China has 66% more nurses and midwives and 160% more doctors than India.
- In China the literacy rate for women aged 15-24 is 99%, on the latest World Bank data, while for India it is 74%.
- The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births is 12 in China compared to 44 in India.