In urban China, poor people (and there are many of them) still have it tough, despite the country’s stellar headline economic growth.

In the post-financial crisis era, China has stood in sharp contrast to its sluggish counterparts in the West, namely the United States and European Union. 

At the height of its recession, Chinese quarterly GDP ‘only’ grew at an annual pace of 6.2 percent.  At its peak of post-recession expansion, growth topped 11 percent.

Nevertheless, the phenomenal economic expansion has left many people behind. 

China has very little government social safety net, so poverty there is much harsher than poverty in the West.  Moreover, urban poverty in China is arguably tougher than rural poverty because community and family support is more lacking in cities.

Lastly, as China’s economy surged, so did inflation, in particular food inflation, which has topped 10 percent in some months.  In this regard, economic growth may have actually exacerbated poverty for people who have no means of generating income.

The following are photos of the urban poor in China.  Click “Start” to view them.