On the Map

Restaurants are booming in China, with sales rising an average of 16.5 percent annually from 1996 to 2001, about double the rate of growth in all retail sales. Per capita restaurant sales were highest—over $100—in some of China’s richest regions along the coast—Guangdong Province and the Shanghai and Tianjin municipalities—where 2001 per capita urban incomes ranged from $1,000 to $1,500 per year. In contrast, per capita restaurant sales were between $20 and $30 in most of China’s central and western provinces, which have lower urban per capita incomes ranging from $650 to $850. Most residents of central and western provinces live in rural areas where incomes are even lower and restaurants are less common.