Key Numbers

Total changes 1990-2008

 

45%

Inclusive Wealth Index

422%

Gross Domestic Product

-17%

Natural Capital

452%

Manufactured Capital

33%

Human Capital

 
 

Changes over 20 Years

China presented a very strong growth in GDP over the time period assessed. In comparison, the IWI shows a more modest growth, which could be due to the 17 percent decline of its natural capital. It seems evident that the positive increase of its inclusive wealth was mainly driven by rapid growth in produced capital, which was the primary factor that offset the decline in natural capital.

Overall per-capita changes in IWI, GDP, manufactured, human, and natural capital

Overall per-capita changes in IWI, GDP, manufactured, human, and natural capital


Wealth Composition

 
Composition of China’s inclusive wealth

Composition of China’s inclusive wealth

Inclusive Wealth

While China’s strong IWI is driven primarily by increases in produced capital, it only makes up 17% on average of China’s total capital stock, whereas human capital accounts for 47% and natural capital for 35%. Especially in light of China’s average annual population growth rate of 0.83%, a re-evaluation of its development strategy and increased investment in natural capital would allow China to obtain higher returns on its produced and human capital and shift to a more sustainable track.

Composition of China’s natural capital

Composition of China’s natural capital

Natural Capital

China’s natural capital stocks decreased overall by about 17% from 1990 to 2008. Although forest resources experienced a noteworthy net change increase, fisheries, fossil fuels and minerals were all diminished in quantity over the time period assessed.