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With Highest Aging Level in 2030, China Faces Practical Issue of Building a Population-balanced Society
China Population Association held a conference on “Building a Population-balanced Society” on Jul. 11, 2010, during the 21st World Population Day in Beijing. More than 80 specialists from 12 education and research institutions such as Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Renmin University of China, Peking University, Nankai University, and China Population and Development Research Center attended the conference.

Specialists expressed that China’s population development has entered a new phase. It was predicted that the number of births during the 12th Five-year Plan will exceed that of the 11th Five-year Plan; at the end of the 12th Five-year Plan, the total population of the country will reach about 1.39 billion; the proportion of the working population ranging from the age of 15 to 59 will decrease gradually; the urban population will exceed 0.7 billion; and urbanization rate will exceed 50%. The aging of mainland China will be accelerated, with the population above 60 years of age rising from 4.8 million during the 11th Five-year Plan to 8 million during the 12th Five-year Plan . By the year 2015, the aging population (those above 60) will surpass 0.2 billion, occupying 14.8% of the total population.Specialists also articulated that the practical problems to building a population-balanced society include the following: The inertial growth of the population is still fast, where 0.2 billion people will be added in the next 30 years, causing the population to peak in 2033 at 1.5 billion. The continuous population growth will lead to the increasingly acute conflicts between people, resources and the environment. Structural contradictions such as un-balanced age structure characterized by an aging problem, unbalanced gender structure characterized by a high birth gender ratio, and unbalanced population spatial distribution, are becoming more and more serious. Key problems and difficulties in the development of the population are also becoming obvious, such as the population being unable to adapt well to the increasingly overall national competition, the migrant workers issue, and the rural population issue.

On Sept. 10, the Institute of Finance and Trade Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences released the China Financial Policy Report 2010/2011, pointing out that the ratio of the aged population (those above 65 years old) in China will exceed that of Japan in 2030, and China will become the country with the highest degree of aging in the world. Up to 2050, the society will enter a deepening aging phase, where people over 60 years old will exceed 30% of the total population. It can be predicted that the aging population will become a determining factor for whether or not China’s macroeconomy will be able to continuously realize rapid and stable development.

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