In order to expand the middle-income group, attention must be given to enhancing the role of human capital

With the advent of post-industrial society, the knowledge economy has had an increasingly prominent effect on income. The role of human capital, represented by education, in raising income levels cannot be ignored. Relevant analysis also found that the higher the level of education of a given group, the higher the level of their income. Among the middle-income and high-income group, the proportion of those who have received higher education is markedly higher. Considering that education is an important stepping stone for people to move up in society, it is therefore also important to improve the fairness of higher education, maintain an appropriate scale of enrollment for higher education, and further improve its quality. These are all objective requirements for expanding the middle-income group.

In order to expand the middle-income group, it is necessary to continuously deepen reforms and eliminate institutional barriers

For a considerable length of time, the household registration system has been a typical example of institutional social unfairness. Studies have found that the distribution of household registration of the middle-income group is equivalent to the average of the overall population, but the proportion of non- agricultural households among the upper-middle-iucome group and high-in- come group is significantly higher than that of the low-income group. Despite further relaxing of the household registration system in recent years, the urban-rural differences that formed before are difficult to eliminate in the short term. In addition to the household registration system, there are still other institutional barriers, such as sex discrimination and geographical discrimination in the labor market. Only by deepening reforms and breaking institutional barriers will it be possible to give full play to the enthusiasm of workers and expand the middle-income group.

In order to expand the middle-income group, attention must be given to preventing new inequalities

The development of science and technology and society has brought more than just human progress. Some older individuals with lower academic qualifications may experience a relative decline in income or difficulty in improving their situation. Our analysis found that the proportion of young people and other individuals in the middle-income group who received higher education is relatively high, which means that those who have not received higher education, as well as middle-aged and older individuals, are more likely to slide into the low-income group and the lower-middle-income group. It is therefore of great importance to prevent middle-aged and elderly people with lower education levels, especially those of agricultural household registration, from becoming the “working poor”.

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