China is known for saving money, and as the country has become wealthier, the household saving 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.