A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says China has made progress in reducing the gap between rich and poor, the Wall Street Journal reported. On the Gini inequality index, on which 0 is perfect equality and 100 is perfect inequality, China ranked 40.8 in 2007, down from 41 in 2005. The OECD pointed to increased welfare spending and major adjustments to the labor market for reducing disparities. In addition, taking into account the growth of rural migrant workers in cities, and of cheaper prices in rural areas, the OECD said the gap between rural and urban areas was not as wide as typically thought: Average urban incomes are approximately twice those in rural areas. According to OECD figures, inequality levels in China remain higher than most developed countries, but are lower than South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Russia and Mexico.
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