In spite of China’s rapid economic development, the number of officially designated poor counties in China has increased from 331 in 1986 to 592. Counties that are designated as poor each receive subsidies from the central government of between 30 and 50 million yuan every year.
Since 1994, the total number of poor counties in China has remained at 592. Most of the 592 counties are located in the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, and Shaanxi. Yunnan has the largest number of poverty-stricken counties with a total of 7, followed by Guizhou and Shaanxi, which each have a total of 50 poor counties.
According to Legal Evening News, the central government provides special poverty relief funds of about 30 to 50 million yuan annually to each of these counties, with some additional payments and some preferential policy measures. This may have contributed to a lot of counties not wanting to grow out of poverty.
Source: Legal Evening News reprinted by Nandu, January 29, 2014