The standard of living in China compared to the United States

Jul 26, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jul 27, 2023, 9:50 am

people walk across intersection in china...

FILE - Commuters walk across an intersection during the evening rush hour in the central business district in Beijing, on June 13, 2023. China's economy grew 6.3% in the second quarter, missing expectations even after near-stagnant growth from a year ago.(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — As China works to get its struggling economy back on track, the unemployment there has risen to an all-time high. It leads to an important question – what is the standard of living in China compared to the United States?

Desmond Lachman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, joined KSL NewsRadio to discuss the differences between the two nations.


What does China’s economy look like?

Lachman said for people under the age of 24, the unemployment rate in China has hit 21.5%.

“Which is really troubling from a social point of view,” he said. “Unemployment overall has crept up to something like 5.5 percent. And this is a time that the Chinese economy is showing every sign of moving to a very much slower growth path.”

Lachmam added that China has some significant problems in its property markets. Additionally, China has built far too many houses. And as a result, housing prices are coming down.

According to Lachman, what was an “economic miracle” in China that lasted for nearly 40 years, has suddenly hit a brick wall. 

“And they’re going to a very much slower growth path,” Lachman said. “And it looks like they’re not going to be overtaking the US economy in size anytime soon.”

Standard of living compared to US

Lachman said the economy in China is a little less than that of the U.S. However, there are four times as many people to divide it by.

“So, if you look at their per capita income,” Lachman said. “It’s only like $12,000. So, that’s way below ours.”

Lachman said it only gets worse from there.

“If you look at the distribution of income isn’t that great,” he said. “So, you’ve got something like 250 million people living on something like $3 a day. So, you’ve got a lot of people pretty close to poverty.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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The standard of living in China compared to the United States