Chinese rural poverty has declined sharply over the past decade, but in its place rising levels of urban poverty have become a cause for concern, a new government report has said. According to state media, the China Population and Development Country Report said the percentage of the rural population living in poverty fell from 8.7% in 1993 to 3.1% in 2003. However, it said that mass migration to the cities and China's economic transformation meant urban poverty was a growing issue. In 2003 an estimated 22.48 million urban residents had incomes below the basic standard of living, the report said.
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