Developing or Developed? A China Debate by the Numbers

Chinese worker balancing buckets of water on a pole in an urban area. Source: ChinaTravelCA's flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

Chinese worker balancing buckets of water in an urban area. Source: ChinaTravelCA’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

Despite China’s place as the world’s second largest economy and one of the most rapidly growing in the world, the Chinese government still classifies itself as a developing country. Being known as a “developing country” serves to China’s advantage, as becoming a part of the developed world comes with a host of expectations and responsibilities. A developing country, as defined by the World Bank, is “one in which the majority lives on far less money—with far fewer basic public services—than the population in highly industrialized countries.” Though the World Bank stands by the determination that China is still a developing country, the vagueness of this definition allows for argument. In the debate on whether China is developed or developing, the statistics speak for themselves.

Statistics and chart compiled by Sabrina Devereaux, Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS from the following sources: WorldBank, CIA World Factbook, Huffington Post Canada, National Bureau of Statistics of the PRC, U.S. EIA, Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, Starbucks Investor Relations, and AgrifoodAsia.

Statistics and chart compiled by Sabrina Devereaux, Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, from the following sources: World Bank – World DataBank, CIA World Factbook, Huffington Post Canada, World Bank – World Development Indicators, National Bureau of Statistics of the PRC, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, Starbucks Investor Relations, and AgrifoodAsia.

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1 comment for “Developing or Developed? A China Debate by the Numbers

  1. GJ
    August 19, 2014 at 15:28

    I am confused by the reference to public transportation vehicles per 10,000 citizens. Is that number high or low? Which one are you saying is representative of a developing country?

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