China's government said today that it urgently needs to narrow the politically explosive gap between its rich and poor.
The country's Gini coefficient measure of equality, where 0 is perfect equality on a scale from 0 to 1, was rated at 0.474 last year.
That was down from a high of 0.491, National Bureau of Statistics director Ma Jiantang said.
That puts the country among the world's most unequal societies.
By comparison, Mr Ma noted that Brazil scored 0.55, Argentina 0.46 and Russia 0.40.
"We must focus on income distribution," he said.
"On the one hand we need to make the cake bigger, while on the other we need to do a better job of sharing it."
The announcement follows two years of improvement in income distribution that he said was due to higher social spending and government efforts to improve life for the poor.
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