China's growing wealth isn't helping to elevate many of its new urban residents into the middle class, according to University of Washington geographer Kam Wing Chan. The "hukou" system, started in 1958, restricts rural residents from enjoying the benefits of government programs, such as public education, after moving to cities. China is allowing rural citizens to apply for residency in smaller cities, but Chan notes, "There's not really a lot of jobs in smaller cities."

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