Quite a few of the 10 provincial regions that did most in improving residents' average income in 2011 are from China's relatively backward western regions, which included Guizhou, Yunnan and Chongqing, according to the latest 2011 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quality rankings recently published by the Beijing-based China Economy Research Institute, a think-tank of China Economic Weekly under People's Daily News Group.
The rankings, the third of its kind since 2009, listed the Chinese mainland's 31 provincial-level regions based on their per capita GDP quality, or residents' income happiness index (the ratio between per capita disposable income and per capita GDP, calculated as of Feb. 22, 2012).
According to statistical experts, the way to calculate the per capita disposable income is as follows: (per capita disposable income of urban households + per capita net income of rural households) X ratio of urban population to the provincial region's total population. Per capita GDP was based on the permanent population of each region from the sixth national population census carried out by the end of 2010.
Statistics show that regions with a greater GDP aggregate were not necessarily ranked high in GDP quality. Instead, some of them even came in near the bottom. In 2011, the top five regions with the highest GDP were Guangdong at 5.3 trillion yuan (US$820.59 billion), Jiangsu at 4.86 trillion yuan (US$752.46 billion), Shandong at 4.54 trillion yuan (US$702.92 billion), Zhejiang at 3.2 trillion yuan (US$495.45 billion) and Henan at 2.7 trillion yuan (US$418.03 billion). However, in terms of GDP quality, Guangdong came in third, Jiangsu 21st, Shandong 25th, Zhejiang fourth, and Henan 24th.
Most notably, Guizhou Province, a mountainous region in southwestern China, took the fifth spot in 2011 though its GDP of 0.56 trillion yuan (US$86.7 billion) was ranked only 26th near the bottom.
Shanghai and Beijing topped the list for the 3rd consecutive year, with an index of 0.5547 and 0.5020 respectively. Xinjiang (0.2987), Inner Mongolia (0.2649) and Tibet (0.2346) appeared at the very bottom.
China's GDP hit 47.16 trillion yuan (US$7.3 trillion) in 2011, 9.2 percent higher than that of 2010 at comparable prices. A total of 23 out of the 31 provincial regions saw their GDP exceed 1 trillion yuan (US$154.83 billion) in 2011, six more than that of 2010.
In recent years, China's economic experts have pointed out that GDP should not be worshipped blindly. It's more vital to consider its contributions to the improvement to people's income, livelihood and sense of happiness. Generally speaking, the individuals' income accounts for about 60 percent of the national GDP in most developed countries. However, the income of Chinese residents took only about 40 percent of the country's GDP.
Here, China.org.cn has compiled the top 10 Chinese provincial regions which used their GDP better in improving people's living standards in 2011.
2010 Ranking: 9; Per capita GDP quality index: 0.4299
GDP 2011: 1 trillion yuan (US$154.83 billion); GDP rank: 23
Per capita GDP: 34,705 yuan (US$5,373)
Per capita disposable income of urban households: 20,250 yuan (US$3,135)
Per capita net income of rural households: 6,438 yuan (US$997)
Ratio between urban population and total population: 53.02 percent