The measurement method of middle-income group and its application: empirical evidence from CHIP

WENG Jie1 WANG Jing1

(1.School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology)

【Abstract】Scientific measurement of the middle-income group is an important prerequisite for determining quantitative policy objectives and monitoring the group’s scale effectively. The ideal measurement needs to meet at least three requirements, which relate to economic rationality, regional differences and automatic adjustment. The evaluation of the existing measurement methods shows that the hybrid standard method has more advantages than the relative standard method and the absolute standard method. According to the principle of the hybrid standard method, a new measurement method of the middle-income group is developed. The middle-income group is defined as the households with a per capita annual income between three times per capita food consumption expenditure of urban households in the region and three times the median of per capita annual income of the household. The empirical results from CHIP data reveal that China has formed a large-scale middle-income group, and its distribution has been of obvious regional differences and urban-rural differences. The comparative analysis of the measurement results suggests that the measurement results obtained by the new method are more reasonable.

【Keywords】 middle-income group; measurement method; median income; structure of income distribution;


【Funds】 The National Social Science Fund of China (18BJY047)

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This Article


CN: 11-1043/C

Vol , No. 05, Pages 43-55+127

October 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Measurement method of the middle-income group and its evaluation
  • 3 New measurement methods and the measurement results of the middle-income group
  • 4 Comparative analysis of major measurement results
  • 5 Conclusions
  • References