Standard of Living in China

A Brief Overview

Visiting and living in different countries allow you to experience an entirely new culture, an unknown language, beautiful traditions, and interact with people of different beliefs. But there are a few of the constraints too, especially when you are planning to live there long-term.

With China’s emerging economy, a lot of people are also moving here either for their job, business, or studies. And many of them share a common concern; what is the standard of living in China?

To answer your question, we have put together fact-based, data-driven information in hopes of giving you a clear picture.

For starters, the rising economy in China has certainly elevated the lives of millions of citizens. Today an average middle-class Chinese family enjoys similar luxuries to those of the European family. Tourism has been increased tenfold as more tourist destinations have been built, so you will never feel alone, or at a loss for things to do.

Food Quality and Variety:


Many of us have heard of the issues China has faced historically because of overpopulation, especially when it comes to food deficiency.

In efforts to control limited resources, many unhealthy fertilizers and hazardous chemicals were used. But luckily, because the government started implementing stricter food safety policies; today China offers safer and higher-quality food to its citizens.

Not only this, but Chinese cuisine is also getting more popular worldwide for the variety it offers. Many leading chefs all over the world and especially Asia are even moving to China to work (Dwain, 2019).

This means the tourists can enjoy not only local foods on the streets of Beijing, but also foods from around the world, be it Indian, Thai, Japanese, or Arabian. 



China has a well-developed transport system with diverse options.

For the people traveling on a tight schedule, there are enormous airports in many major cities, offering convenient and quick travel around the country. Otherwise, there is the bullet train, available to take you to nearby cities in the blink of an eye.

These are not only quick but offer you a closer look into the cities as they surpass the window screen. Other than that, there is rental car service, wide network of buses including Bus Rapid Transit (BRTs), metro systems in most major cities, and bike-sharing programs to make your travel easy and enjoyable. 

Public Safety:


There have been significant efforts to eliminate corruption throughout the country, be it police, policy-making institutions, health sector or any judicial firm.

These efforts have made China is a safer place to travel and enjoy, even for foreigners, be it night or in rural areas. The citizens are no longer at high risk for violent crimes and robbery. The government imposed public safety rules that have been effective and allow citizens to feel safer. (Marchetto, 2019)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP):


The government has launched an anti-poverty scheme in attempts to mitigate class differences, which are currently significant. They have introduced various education, health and local industrial initiatives to help the cause.

A very common way to visualize the living standard of a country is to evaluate per capita GDP. 

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is the average amount of goods and services produced per person in a nation in a given year at constant prices.

According to the recent evaluation, China holds second place in the world’s top ten countries with the highest GDP with GDP of $15,543,710 (world population review).

Shanghai is the city with China’s highest median monthly wage of $1,135 (The globalist, 2018). Shanghai’s median wage is higher than that of Hungary and is nearing that of Czechia and Poland. (The globlist, 2018)  



Infrastructure, including skyscrapers, road, rails, and telecommunications, do a lot to improve a country’s economy.

China has already proved its mettle in the field by building four of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings. It’s incredible to see all of these enormously tall buildings in cities like Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

There has been a 51% increase in road construction connecting the rural and urban areas from 2005-2015 (Jingnan, 2018). Also, more than 100 million citizens have benefited from the upgrades in power and telecommunication fields (Jingnan, 2018).  

Work life:


The economic reforms introduced in the country would have been useless without the struggles of the citizens. Despite the height of economic prosperity that they have reached still many people are working long, 12+ hour days.

Although China is considered one of the most highly over-populated regions they are not facing the scarcity of jobs and career opportunities as many of the economic prosperity has attracted the well-known companies to come and establish their plants in the region offering numbers of job opportunities to the residents. 

China’s economic prosperity has surely elevated the standard of living of not only the Chinese citizens but also of the foreigners.

Life in China is not only improving but also a lot more fun with many places to visit and a more diverse range of people. So if you have an opportunity to live or even settle in this country, it is a place is full of cultural heritage, taste, and economic stability. 


Dwain. (2019). travelguide/living-standard. Retrieved from China highlights:

Jingnan, Z. (2018). news/3d3d414d7949544e31457a6333566d54/share_p.html. Retrieved from CGTN News:

Marchetto, P. (2019, june 17). travelguide/article/chinese-laws. Retrieved from china highlights:

The globalist. (2018, april 14). china europe living standards gdp. Retrieved from The globalist:

world population review. countries/countries-by-gdp. Retrieved from world population review:

Join our Newsletter!

Subscribe to get fresh and most insightful information about working, living, and travelling in China.

Related posts

Living in Beijing during COVID-19: Tips for getting through a Lockdown


10 Things I’ve Learned After Living in China for 3 Years


How to Get Health Insurance in China as an Expat?


How to use Didi Chuxing? (Tips for Expats)