Incomes for China's farmers grew rapidly this year, state media said Thursday, helping to close a wealth gap with city workers which is a key issue for a government obsessed with social stability.
It was the third consecutive year that the gap has narrowed, according to a Ministry of Agriculture report cited by Xinhua news agency.
Rural residents' per capita cash income was 6,778 yuan ($1,075) in the first nine months of this year, up 12.3 percent year-on-year, the ministry said.
The increase was 2.5 percentage points higher than that of urban residents, it said, and reduced the urban-rural income ratio from 2.77 to 1 to 2.72 to 1.
Income inequalities are a major concern for authorities eager to avoid public discontent and possible unrest in the rapidly developing country of 1.3 billion people.
A report by the state-linked Centre for Chinese Rural Studies said in August that inequality within rural areas was nearing "danger" levels as hundreds of millions shun farming for better-paid city work, causing a widening wealth gap.