Since Tibet implemented Democratic Reform 50 years ago, its economic development has made considerable progress and average GDP per capita has continuously reached new highs.
When Democratic Reform was initiated in Tibet in 1959, the GDP of the whole area of Tibet was just 174 million yuan and average GDP per capita was only 142 yuan. Democratic Reform has liberated Tibet's productivity to a tremendous extent. In particular, with the Central Government's kind-hearted care and the selfless assistance of the whole nation since reform and opening-up, Tibet's economy has had considerable development with average GDP per capita continuously reaching higher levels.
Graphics shows the figure of the Tibetan people's living standards, quoting a white paper titled "Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet" issued by the Information Office of the State Council, on March 2, 2009. [Xinhua photo]
In 1989, Tibet's average GDP per capita reached 1,000 yuan for the first time. The figure grew to 5,000 yuan in 2001 and broke the 10,000 yuan threshold in 2006.
In 2007, Tibet's average GDP per capita amounted to 12,109 yuan, up 12.6 percent year-on-year. In 2008, the figure reached 13,861 yuan, up 9 percent year-on-year. This was an increase of 13,719 yuan compared with 1959.
Over the past 50 years, Tibet has placed importance on increasing the income of farmers and herdsmen, continuously improving policy measures to support and benefit agriculture, making unique agricultural and animal husbandry economies become important sources to increase the income of farmers and herdsmen. In recent years, as the Qinghai-Tibet Railway opened to traffic, the number of Tibetan farmers and herdsmen who earn a living from tourism has constantly increased. The structure of farmer's earnings has begun changing, and the sources of earnings have become increasingly diversified.
Before Democratic Reform, Tibetan farmers and herdsmen basically had no income. In 1978, per capita income of Tibetan farmers and herdsmen was 175 yuan, in 1985, the figure jumped to 500yuan for the first time. In 1997, it broke the 1,000 yuan mark, and in 2005, it passed the 2,000 yuan mark. In 2007, per capita income of Tibetan farmers and herdsmen reached 2,788 yuan, an increase of 2,613 yuan compared with 1978, marking an annual average growth rate of 10 percent. In 2008, per capita net income of Tibetan farmers and herdsmen reached 3,176 yuan, up 13.9 percent year-on-year and maintaining double-digit growth for six years in a row.