China: An Ageing Society, The Next Big Challenge For Policy Makers 209

By the end of 2017, the number of Chinese citizens aged 60 or older reached 241 million, representing 17.3 percent of the country’s total population, according to China National Committee on Aging (CNCA) report.

The report also suggested that the number of seniors will peak around 2050 to reach 487 million (34.9 percent of the total population).

IT’S generally accepted that a nation has reached what is known as an “aging society” – where more than one in ten of the population is 60 or older (or 10 percent of the total population).

Japan, for example, is known as a “super-aging society,” where 33 percent of the population is over 60.

China is experiencing population aging that is unprecedented in the world. Aging is not only an immediate personal issue but also a salient factor in important public policies, such as pensions, health, and long-term care.

Although China expanded its former “one-child policy” to a limit of 2 children per family in 2015, last year, 17.23 million babies were born in China, a drop of 630,000 from a year earlier.

While the percentage of the population aged 60 or older rose from 16.7% in 2016 to 17.3% in 2017.

China is poised to face a problem many developed economies have been grappling with for years now: the fiscal and labor market implications of an aging population.

Many European countries are also aging rapidly but have dealt with this by allowing large-scale immigration.

China’s working-age population has been declining since 2012 and is projected to shrink by almost a quarter by 2050. This is not a slope; it is a cliff edge.

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