This article was produced in collaboration with ChinaFile, a Tea Leaf Nation partner site.
China is known for saving money, and as China has become wealthier, the household savings rate has increased. China’s personal saving rate has risen steadily since the mid-90s, and now exceeds 50%, much higher than Germany’s 10% – considered high among developed countries – and more than ten times the United States’ saving rate (which is falling) of 4.6%.
Experts have cited China’s transition to a market economy, which has meant a drop in individuals’ income security, as one reason Chinese save despite the country’s economic growth. But the high cost of living, even in third-tier cities, also plays a role.
The below infographic, created by SOHU Finance, offers a humorous but revealing take on this serious issue. It breaks down China’s “defensive saving,” showing just how quickly a major life milestone – like marrying or having a child – can drain the average Chinese household’s bank account.