Average Disposable Incomes in China Rise 4.7% in 2020 Despite Impact of COVID-19


Official data points to a sizeable rise in disposable incomes in China last year despite the adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The average full-year disposable income in China in 2020 was 32,189 yuan (approx. USD$4970) according to figures released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on 28 February.

The figure marks a nominal increase of 4.7% compared to 2019, as well as an inflation-adjusted increase of 2.1%.

For China’s urban residents the average disposable income was 43,834 yuan, for a YoY rise of 3.5% in nominal terms, and an inflation-adjusted rise of 1.2%.

The average disposable income of China’s rural residents was 17,131 yuan, for a YoY rise of 6.9% in nominal terms, and an inflation-adjusted increase of 3.8%. The average monthly income of China’s rural workers was 4072 yuan in 2020, for a YoY rise of 2.8%.

Average consumption expenditures in 2020 were 21,210 yuan, for a YoY decline of 1.6%, and an inflation-adjusted decline of 4.0%, as COVID-19 lockdowns stymied the spending habits of Chinese consumers.

NBS said that the Chinese population can currently be divided into five income groups based on average disposable income levels:

  1. Low income (7869 yuan),
  2. Lower middle income (16,443 yuan),
  3. Middle income (26,249 yuan),
  4. Upper middle income (41,172 yuan),
  5. High income (80,294) yuan.