While China’s middle class right now consists of only a quarter of the population, they are set to grow to nearly half the total population by 2020, according to Euromonitor. That means that 700 million out of the estimated 1.45 billion people of 2020 will have an income of roughly between 80,000RMB (11,800USD) to 120,000RMB (17,700USD) a year.
The study found that the Chinese middle class was concentrated mainly in urban areas and is comprised of entrepreneurs and managers in high-tech companies, foreign firms and financial institutions, as well as some self-employed private entrepreneurs. While China was working to reduce the income gap, it was unlikely that they could enough to stop the build up of middle class in cities.
While the current figure is far below the middle class percentage of the U.S. (80% of the population) and even fellow BRIC member Brazil (50% of the population), it still represents a startling increase in the numbers of “the stable class,” a group most likely to weather economic pitfalls without rioting or revolution.
At least, that is, if China’s middle class can be considered so in the accepted sense of the word. The Beijing Times recently argued (in an opinion piece translated by Global Times), that “money alone doesn’t make a middle class.”
The reasons for the study of the issue and people’s growing expectations basically come from the rational spirit, peaceful state of mind and conservative psychological condition that middle class status can bring. Middle class people agree on the mainstream of moral principles and a fundamental ethical and cultural order. They generally wish to preserve so-cial stability.
In the last 10 years, middle class families assets have been increasing because of the rapid rise in housing prices. But the burdens on these families are also growing bigger. Most middle class families have become more and more nervous.
Although the increase of wealth is essential, a peaceful, rational and conservative state of mind is more crucial is to the middle class.