China Says Middle Class to Balloon By 2020
China classified as middle class those making between 60,000 yuan ($7,250) and 500,000 yuan a year, Xinhua news agency quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as saying.
"The proportion of middle class in China will expand to 45 percent in 2020 from today's 5 percent," it quoted Cheng Xuebing, an official with the bureau, as saying.
The estimates were based on a recent survey of Chinese urban residents, Xinhua said.
Living standards for China's 1.3 billion people have risen sharply after more than two decades of economic reforms that have boosted private business and capitalist-style investment.
But tens of millions of people are still mired in poverty, and Beijing has been concerned that a widening wealth gap could undermine social stability.
(US$1 = 8.276 yuan)