1. Rural Population and Employment China’s rural population has continued to shrink. In 2017, China’s rural population decreased by 13.12 million to 576.61 million, accounting for 41.48 percent of the total, down 1.17 percentage points year on year. The proportion of children and the elderly is high, 19.39 percent of which are children aged from 0 to 14, 4.43 percentage points higher than that of urban areas. The proportion of rural population aged 60 and over and the proportion of people aged 65 and over are 19.92 percent and 13.22 percent respectively, 4.43 percentage points and 3.13 percentage points higher than that of urban population respectively. The aging problem in rural areas is more serious.
2. Rural Water Conservancy Construction By the end of 2017, the country has invested 321.207 billion yuan in national water conservancy infrastructure construction of farmland, 2.126 billion migrant workers work days 6.991 billion cubic meters of earth and stone, and 180 million sets of machinery. The MoA made significant progress in the comprehensive implementation of the river chief system, with 23 provinces involved and setting 310 000 river chiefs at the township level and 620 000 river chiefs at village level. The country has completed an investment of 20 billion yuan in rural hydropower, with 161 new power stations built, 1.353 million kilowatts of production capacity generated, 250 000 kilowatts of technologically-increased power generation equipment, and 247.72 billion kilowatt-hours of rural hydropower. The safety of rural drinking water has been further consolidated and improved. From January to October in 2017, the MoA invested 33.8 billion yuan in rural drinking water safety consolidation project, benefiting more than 40 million people.
3. Rural Power Development In 2017, the central government issued an investment plan for rural power grid upgrading and renovation project of 42.12601 billion yuan. By the end of 2017, a total of 78 533 small towns and villages finished the upgrading projects of power grid, and the MoA invested 49 billion yuan in the well powering project, which provided power for 1.595 756 million of wells nationwide and 33 082 poverty-stricken villages. The rural power supply capacity has been significantly enhanced. The State Grid Corporation has newly built and renovated 552 substations, transmission and distribution lines of 897 000 kilometers, 451 000 sets of distribution transformers, and 14.314 million households transformation. In North China, the MoA launched pilot projects on clean heating in winter. In 2017, it finished the clean energy projects on 901 villages and 369 000 households in Beijing.
4. Rural Traffic Construction In 2017, the construction of “Four Good Rural Roads” was steadily advanced, with the annual investment in rural road construction reaching 473.133 billion yuan. The newly renovated rural roads reached 289 700 kilometers, 11 000 new hardened roads were built, and 8 473 villages had new communal vehicles. By the end of 2017, the national highway mileage reached 4.009 3 million kilometers, with the township (town) of the country’s hardened roads accounting for 99.39 percent of the total, and that of the highways in villages accounting for 99.98 percent. The grade road in rural areas accounted for 89 percent of the total, with the rate of hardening road reaching 73 percent. The rate of road maintenance institutions set in counties and towns reached 99.9 percent and 92.9 percent respectively, and the maintenance rate reached 97.5 percent. The road with medium and high quality reached 80.7 percent of the total. The towns and counties with passenger lines nationwide reached 99.12 percent, and the villages with passenger lines reached 95.85 percent. The level of urban- rural transportation integration is close to 80 percent.
5. Rural Residence Governance By the end of 2017, the central government has allocated a total of 43.5 billion yuan in rural environmental protection funds, completed the comprehensive renovation of 138 000 villages, with nearly 200 million rural people benefited. In 2017, the subsidy fund for rural dilapidated housing renovation amounted to 15.987 billion yuan. In the whole year, 1.525 million households with dangerous housing in poverty-stricken rural areas were completed. The MoA generated results in rural domestic waste treatment, and five provinces (municipalities directly under the central government) such as Beijing have reached the goal in advance. The “toilet revolution” has achieved remarkable results. As of the end of October, 2017, the country had renovated and newly built 68 000 toilets.
6. Rural Education In 2017, the balanced development of urban and rural compulsory education has achieved remarkable results. By the end of 2017, the country had 2 379 counties that had realized a balanced development of the compulsory education. The MoA has completed the rural subsidy system for compulsory education, which has exempted the tuition and miscellaneous fees and books in urban and rural compulsory education, and continued to provide living allowances for boarding students with financial difficulties as well as implement the nutrition improvement plan for rural compulsory education students. The conditions for running rural compulsory education have been further improved. By the end of 2017, the central government has invested a total of 133.6 billion yuan in special funds, which has driven local investment of more than 250 billion yuan. The country has built, renovated and expanded 165 million square meters of school buildings, and purchased 27.38 million of school desks and stools, 453 million of books, and 14.62 million sets of living facilities. The MoA improved rural teachers’ occupational environment. In 2017, the country has fully implemented the living subsidy policy for rural teachers in the contiguous destitute areas, and the per capita monthly subsidy standard increased by 13.4 percent. Rural vocational education has further developed. By the end of 2017, the country has more than 15 million new professional farmers.
7. Rural Culture In 2017, the rural cultural undertakings were steadily advanced. The MoA spent 45.745 billion yuan in the cultural expenditures in counties, an increase of 14.5 percent over the same period in 2016. By the end of 2017, the country has built more than 35 000 service points at township (street) grassroots level and 600 000 at village (community) level. Rural cultural products are constantly enriched, and rural books, newspapers, periodicals, music and performing arts were becoming more and more abundant. The central government and relevant developments published a series of polices to promote the cultural industry development especially in innovative cultural industry. The MoA effectively improved rural public cultural services, and by the end of 2017, there were 41 175 cultural stations at township level, and two-thirds of the villages had comprehensive cultural service centers. The public cultural services network has been further improved covering six levels ranging from country, province, city, town, county and village.
8. Rural Health Care In 2017, the country has improved the level of rural public health services significantly. The basic public health service projects in rural areas were fully implemented, and the state’s financial subsidy for basic public health services reached 50 yuan per capita, an increase of 5 yuan over the previous year. The rural medical and health service system has been further improved. In 2017, the MoA set up 14 482 county-level hospitals, 37 000 township hospitals, and 632 000 village clinics in rural areas, which formed a three-level health service network featuring county hospitals, township hospitals, and village clinics. The ministry improved the rural medical security capacity significantly. In 2017, the new-type rural cooperative medical care participation rate remained stable at over 98 percent.
9. Rural Social Security In 2017, the MoA made breakthroughs in the construction of a social security system for urban and rural planning. The new rural insurance and urban residents’ pension insurance have been integrated into the basic old-age insurance system for urban and rural residents. The country has accelerated the cross-provincial medical expenses verification and reporting in the new rural cooperative medical insurance, and implemented the major illness insurance system for urban and rural residents. The coverage of rural social security has continued to expand. As of the end of 2017, the country had 512.55 million of urban and rural residents participating in the basic old-age insurance, and 873.59 million of people participating in the basic medical insurance for urban and rural residents. A total of 40.47 million people enjoyed the minimum living allowance for rural residents and 4.67 million people enjoyed rural poverty subsidy. The MoA also improved its rescue and protection standard and ability. The basic pension standard is raised to 70 yuan per person per month. The per capita subsidy for the new rural cooperative medical system reached 450 yuan, an increase of 30 yuan over the previous year, and the reimbursement of hospitalization expenses within the new rural cooperative medical policy reached about 75 percent. The per capita standard for rural minimum living security reached 351 yuan, an increase of 16.6 percent over the previous year. The per capita standard of rural five-guarantee centralized support and decentralized support reached 560 yuan and 320 yuan respectively, up 5.7 percent and 8.5 percent respectively over the previous year.
10. Farmers’ Income and Consumption In 2017, the per capita disposable income of rural residents reached 13 432 yuan. Factoring in inflation, the figure grew by 7.3 percent in real terms, 1.1 percentage points faster than the previous year. Of the net income, wages and salaries made up 5 498 yuan, up 9.5 percent; household production net income made up 5 028 yuan, up 6.0 percent; property generated 303 yuan, up 11.4 percent; transfer payment created 2 603 yuan, up 11.8 percent. In 2017, the median of the average per capita net income of rural residents reached 11 969 yuan, an increase of 7.4 percent year on year. In 2017, the average per capita consumer spending of rural residents was 10 955 yuan, up 8.1 percent. Adjusted to inflation, the figure grew by 6.8 percent in real terms.
11. Rural Poverty Alleviation and Development In 2017, the poverty alleviation funds at the central and provincial-level exceeded 140 billion yuan. The country had vigorously promoted poverty alleviation in poverty-stricken areas, steadily promoted classified surveys, further strengthened the responsibility for poverty alleviation, and strove to improve the environment of poverty-stricken areas in order to consolidate the foundation of precision poverty alleviation. The fight against poverty has achieved remarkable results. In 2017, the country has reduced the number of people in poverty by 12.89 million, and withdrawn 125 state- level poverty-stricken counties.
Note: The above information is sourced from the 2018 China Agricultural and Rural Development Report. To learn more please contact: +86 10 59194918.