The growth rate of the incomes of rural residents in the Tibet autonomous region has been No 1 for 17 consecutive quarters among all provincial-level regions in China, the region's statistics bureau said on Tuesday.
In the first half of 2019, the region's per capita disposable income for rural residents hit 4,009 yuan ($571), an increase of 12.5 percent year-on-year and 3.6 percent higher than the national growth rate.
Tibet's economic vitality also continues to grow. In the first six months of the year: the region's total electricity consumption was 3.63 billion kilowatts per hour, an increase of 16.6 percent year-on-year; gasoline sales reached 204,200 metric tons, a hike of 2.6 percent; diesel sales hit 395,600 tons, up 4.4 percent; and aviation kerosene consumption topped out at 27,200 tons, an increase of 9.7 percent, according to the bureau.
Dorje Dradul, the deputy head of the bureau, said the region's GDP hit more than 68.1 billion yuan in the first half of the year, an increase of 9 percent, and the growth rate was the second highest in China.
In the first half of the year, the region's per capita disposable income of urban residents hit 18,520 yuan, up 10.5 percent.
"The growth rate of the region's per capita disposable income of rural residents is 2 percentage points higher than that of urban residents," said Dradul, adding that this is the fourth year since 2016 that this growth rate was higher for rural residents.
"With the per capita of rural disposable income trending upward, there are more job opportunities for farmers, and the gap between rural and urban areas has seen a further reduction," Dradul said.
According to the statistics released by Dradul's bureau, the rural and industrial economy are the two spotlights of the region's overall economic operation in the first half of the year.
"The rural and industrial economy remained in a positive growing pattern, and it has strongly generated employment and income," Dradul said.
Chen Jianqiong, an official with the Tibet Office of National Bureau of Statistics, said the regional government has made the income growth of rural residents a primary concern. It has been the main topic of the region's key work conferences.
"A series of new measures taken by the local government for rural residents in the last six months was a major factor in the growth rate," Chen said.