On the Ageing Population

Topics: Demography, Population, Demographic economics Pages: 5 (1696 words) Published: February 19, 2013
On the Ageing Population

The Issue

With the development of the advanced society, increasingly numbers of nations are facing the ageing problem. The aging population, the fraction of the population aged 65 and over exceeds 8-10%, has been universally recognized as one of the worldwide social issues in 21 century. We are ageing—not just as individuals or communities but as a world. In 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older. By 2030, that total is projected to increase to 1 billion—1 in every 8 of the earth’s inhabitants. Usually, the ageing problem would happen in the developed countries, however, some developing countries are facing the same problem as well. China, as the biggest developing nation, is facing serious ageing problem. According to 2010 census, China has already become an aging society, with 177.648 million elderly over 60 years old, about 13 percent of the total population. Depending on the report released by CASS (Chinese Academy of Social Science), the age of 65 in China will overtake that of Japan in 2030, which will make the world’s most aged society. Unfortunately, China is the only country with more than 100 million people aged over 60 in the world and the country's economy is not well prepared for a rapidly expanding aging population. In such situation, China faces more difficulties than any other nations. Chinese current pension system, medical care system and social service sectors cannot meet the demands of all senior citizens. As we all know, in the past three decades, China created a miracle thanks to the largest cheep labor force in the world, which had contributed nearly 27 percent to Chinese economic growth. Nowadays, because of the increasing life expectancy and low birth rate (one child policy), the demographic dividend is gradually disappearing. According to statistics, compared with 2000, the scale of young Chinese labor force aged from 20 to 29 has already reduced about 15% in 2010, which will affect Chinese economy, as the number of potential workers, especially from rural areas, will shrink. Chinese government as well as the outside is worrying about that China will slow or even stop the developing pace on account of the shrink of labor force, since Chinese economy benefits a lot from the demographic dividend. How can we solve this problem effectively has been attached great importance by Chinese government. The Setting

In the late 1970s, China has carried out one-child policy to control the population growth. With the launch of the one-child policy, Vice Premier Chen Muhua expressed his fear: “Young people under 30 years of age account for about 65 percent of the total population, or around 630 million. Some have already reached the age of fertility, and the majority of the remainder will do so within the next 10 to 20 years or so. If population growth is not controlled, it will reach a high peak, making it virtually impossible for the economy and our social institutions to cope with.” In that circumstance, China has put one-child policy into practice until now. There’s no doubt that one-child policy has played a role in contributing, along with urbanization, to a reduced rate of population expansion and the temporary creation of a population with a dependency ratio lower than it otherwise would have been. However, one-child policy as well brings some problems to our society. For instance, currently, China is undergoing a family restructuring process. The former pyramid shape is being replaced by an inverse pyramid. The typical Chinese family today can be classified as "4-2-1". "4" represents the parents and parents-in-law, "2" represents the husband and wife, and the "1" refers to the only child of the couple. And the center of the family is on the "1"— the grandchild. The form of 4-2-1 family leads to the condition that the "2" have to prepare for both the older and the younger generations. To the "2", they have to take care of...
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