NYT Understates Income in China by a Third

20th November 2018 Off By binary
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In an article pointing out that China has more income mobility than the United States, The New York Times seriously understated China’s per capita income. The article told readers:

“Today, the economic output per capita in China is $12,000, compared with $3,500 a decade ago. The number is far higher in the United States, $53,000.”

Actually, using a purchasing power parity measure of income (which applies a common set of prices to all goods and services, regardless of the country), China has a per capita GDP of $16,100 in 2018, according to the I.M.F. This is still less than a third of $55,500 measure for the US, but getting close to the richest countries in Latin America and the poorest countries in Europe. Mexico’s per capita GDP for 2018 is $18,300 and Bulgaria’s is $20,600. The I.M.F’s projections show per capita GDP in China passing Mexico’s by 2022.

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