China has reported a dramatic decrease in rural poverty over the last decade. http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/17/china-reports-dramatic-drop-in-rural-poverty/ 09:03 AM GMT The number of rural citizens living below the national rural poverty line fell from 94.2 million people (10.2% of the rural population) in 2000, to 26.88 million (2.8%) last year, according to figures released Wednesday by Chinaâs State Council. The sharp drop occurred despite the fact the national rural poverty benchmark was raised from 865 yuan (US$136) in 2000 to 1,274 yuan (US$201) in 2010. âWage growth is the key to understanding this whole development in China,â said Duncan Innes-Ker, Beijing-based senior editor and economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit. Ker said the dramatic decrease âdoesnât shock him at allâ citing the âphenomenal scale of income growth,â whereby average annual incomes are growing at rates of 15-20%. âEven the poor have been experiencing very strong growth in incomesâ¦in the last five years, the supply of unskilled or semi-skilled labor is starting to fall short of demand, so wages for those labor classes have been growing very fast,â he added.