Illustrated White Paper on Democratic Reform in Tibet-Per capita net income of Tibetans kept increasing

China Human Rights Net > News > Focus > Illustrated White Paper on Democratic Reform in Tibet > III. Tremendous Historic Changes over the Past Half-century

Per capita net income of Tibetans kept increasing

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China's government Monday published a white paper on the situation in Tibet before and since1959 to mark the 50th anniversary of the region's Democratic Reform. The paper, released by the State Council Information Office, reviewed the profound changes that have taken place in the past 50 years. It also shed light on the laws governing the social development of Tibet, and attempts to rebut lies and rumors it alleges were spread by the 14th Dalai Lama and his hard-core supporters.

 

Since 1978, the per capita net income of Tibetan peasants and herdsmen kept increasing at an average rate of 10.1 percent per year, reaching 3,176 yuan in 2008.

 

Table showing changes in Tibetan economic and cultural life

Before the democratic reform in 1959, Tibetan peasants and herdsmen had barely any means of production. Debt-ridden almost for the whole life, they hardly expected any net income. But since 1978, the per capita net income of Tibetan peasants and herdsmen kept increasing at an average rate of 10.1 percent per year, reaching 3,176 yuan in 2008. The annual growth rate in the 2003-2008 period was 13.1 percent. The per capita disposable income of urban dwellers in Tibet stood at 12,482 yuan in 2008, which was 21 times that of the 565 yuan in 1978.

 

New House

Before the democratic reform, more than 90 percent of Tibet's residents had no private housing, the peasants and herdsmen had very poor living conditions, and the per-capita housing of urban dwellers was less than three sq m. At that time, Lhasa had a population of 20,000 only, and nearly 1,000 were poverty-stricken or beggar households huddling in tattered shelters on the outskirts. Today, with the construction of a new countryside and the comfortable housing project underway, 200,000 households, comprising nearly one million peasants and herdsmen, have moved into modern houses. By 2008, the per-capita housing area was 22.83sq m in rural areas and 33.00 sq m in urban areas.

 

Serene Old Age

 

A social security system has been basically put in place to cover both cities and countryside in Tibet. In 2008, the allowances for each family of the infirm elderly without children, which is guaranteed food, clothing, medical care, housing and burial expenses, was raised to 1,600 yuan. In 2006, Tibet led other farming and pastoral areas in China with a system of basic subsistence allowances which covered all peasants and herdsmen with an income below 800 yuan.

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