The top one percent of households in Communist-ruled China control more than one third of the country's wealth, while the bottom 25 percent control just one hundredth, official media said, citing an academic report.
The 2012 figures contained in a Peking University report released late Friday reveal the massive breadth of China's social inequality, a widespread source of anger in the country.
The wealth gap is also of significant concern for the ruling Communist Party, which places huge importance on preserving social stability to avoid any challenge to its grasp on power.
"One percent of households at the top level nationwide control more than one third of the country's wealth. Twenty-five percent of families at the bottom level only own one percent of the country's wealth," the website of the People's Daily newspaper said late Friday in a report on the university's statistics.
"The difference between wages in the cities and the rural areas is the main reason behind China's unequal wealth," the newspaper added.