Annual Growth of Aged Population Close to 10 Million in China
According to the latest statistics of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, the aged population of China increased to 169 million by the end of 2008, or 12.79% in the total population. With the exception of Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Tibet, most areas of China have entered into an “aging society.” Along with the drastic increase of aged people, social problems such as the lack of care and facilities for aged people are more and more prominent.
In fact, China was first considered an aging society in 1999, when the aged population of above 60 years old made up 10% in its total population. In the past 10 years, the aged population increased by 50 million. From 2009 on, the aged population in China will increase more rapidly at an annual rate of eight to nine million. It is predicted that the aged population of the country will reach 248 million in 2020, or 17% in the total population, and 437 million in 2050, making up more than 30% of the total population, which means that there will be one aged person out of every three or four people.
According to the China National Committee on Aging, the population over 80 years old is now increasing at about two times the speed of the whole aged population. It is anticipated that in 2050, there will be one person over 80 years old out of every five aged people. At the same time, there are more and more aged people living alone in China.
A survey by the China Research Center on Aging reveals that almost half of the aged population in the urban areas and 40% in the countryside of China do not live with their children. Considering that a significant proportion of the labor force in the countryside usually finds jobs in cities from time to time, the loneness of aged population in the countryside is even more serious.
Moreover, there is a significantly unbalanced proportion of aged people living in the rural areas as opposed to the urban. The proportion of aged people in the countryside makes up more than 70% of the total aged population and the aging level in the countryside is 1.24% higher than in the cities. It is predicted that the imbalance between the cities and the countryside will last until 2040.