Destitute families have to borrow money for food in Shanghai while the city's wealthy get richer, authorities have found. State planners say rapidly rising incomes have created a poverty gap which has more than tripled in the past six years. Per capita incomes for the top 10 per cent of earners in Shanghai have risen from US$391 (HK$3,023) a year to more than US$1,800 a year since 1990. But incomes for the poorest 10 per cent remained below US$500 a year per capita in the same period. The official China Business Weekly said: 'Many poor families are running behind their expenses and must draw from savings or resort to other means, such as borrowing, to make ends meet. 'Such households spend more than 60 per cent of their income on food. The income gap is widening.' The paper blamed the wealth imbalance on 'unfair competition and policy loopholes that allow some people to make fortunes'. Private executives, lawyers, and employees of foreign-funded joint ventures are among Shanghai's wealthiest residents. Elderly pensioners and unskilled workers laid off from state-owned factories are among the poorest. City officials say at least 200,000 workers have been laid off in the troubled textile sector alone. In 1993, Shanghai was the first mainland city to introduce a guaranteed income scheme for its urban poor.