Communist China has one of the world's highest levels of income inequality, with the richest 1 per cent of households owning a third of the country's wealth, a report from Peking University has found.
The poorest 25 per cent of Chinese households own just 1 per cent of the country's total wealth, the study found.
China's Gini coefficient for income, a widely used measure of inequality, was 0.49 in 2012, according to the report. The World Bank considers a coefficient above 0.40 to represent severe income inequality. Among the world's 25 largest countries by population for which the World Bank tracks Gini data, only South Africa and Brazil are higher at 0.63 and 0.53, respectively. The figure for the US is 0.41, while Germany is 0.3.
2012年中国的基尼系数（Gini coefficient，一种广泛使用的不平等衡量标准）为0.49。世界银行(World Bank)认为，基尼系数高于0.40代表着严重的收入不平等。在世行追踪基尼系数的全球25个人口大国中，只有南非和巴西的基尼系数更高，分别为0.63和0.53。美国的基尼系数是0.41，而德国的基尼系数是0.3。
The study from the university's Institute of Social Science Survey is likely to bolster calls for more progressive taxation and increased social welfare spending in the nominally communist country. The Gini coefficient has risen from roughly 0.3 in the 1980s.
由北大中国社会科学调查中心(Institute of Social Science Survey)发表的这项研究，很可能加强在名义上实行社会主义制度的中国推出累进程度更高的税制、加大社会福利支出的呼声。上世纪80年代，中国的基尼系数为大约0.3。
"There's no doubt that the income gap is getting larger and larger," said Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociology professor at Renmin University in Beijing. "To put it simply, the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer." "You don't need a report to know that," added Prof Zhou, who was not involved in the research.
Rampant corruption and unreported income presents challenges for estimating income and wealth levels in China.
The figures are notably higher than official estimates. China's statistics bureau said last year that the country's Gini coefficient had fallen slightly to 0.469 in 2014 from 0.477 in 2011. An other estimate by widely respected economists at the Southwest University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu put the Gini coefficient at 0.61 in 2010. The latest report is based on a survey of nearly 15,000 households in 25 different provinces.
Separately, the Hurun Report said on Thursday that the number of dollar millionaires in China had risen 8 per cent over the past year to 3.14m.
According to Hurun's 2015 China Rich List, the country is home to 596 dollar billionaires, more than the US.
根据2015年《胡润中国百富榜》(Hurun China Rich List)，中国有596名身家至少达到10亿美元的富豪，比美国更多。
China's leadership has pledged to address inequality. "We want to continuously enlarge the pie, while also making sure we divide the pie correctly. Chinese society has long held the value of 'Don't worry about the amount, worry that all have the same amount'," Xi Jinping wrote in People's Daily, a government mouthpiece, in 2014.