LHASA, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-five counties and districts in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have been officially taken off the country's list of impoverished areas, according to an announcement by the local poverty relief office, made public on Saturday.
The counties and districts went through rigorous evaluation, including assessments from third-party institutions and examinations by both central and local governments, before being removed from the list.
A county can be removed from the list if less than 2 percent of its population lives below the poverty line, defined as a per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan (around 335 U.S. dollars) at 2010 prices. In the country's western regions, counties must have less than 3 percent of people living in poverty to be removed from the list.
More than 85 percent of the land in Tibet is located over 4,000 meters above sea level. Harsh natural conditions have been part of the causes of entrenched poverty.
Poverty reduction has been high on the government's agenda and various means have been adopted, including e-commerce, relocation and improved infrastructure.
Statistics show that from 2016 to 2017, around 300,000 people were lifted above the poverty line in Tibet. The poverty incidence dropped to 7.9 percent by the end of 2017 from 25.2 percent at the end of 2015.
Tibet has seen a total of 30 counties and districts removed from the country's list of poorest areas. It will help the remaining 44 counties in the region remove the "impoverished" label.