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NEWS//Elder-care in China

NEWS//Elder-care in China

A severe lack of elder-care seems to be building in China.

It is estimated that China could have up to 400 million people over 60 years of age by the year 2050. Presently, China’s population of the elderly (60 or older) in China is about 128 million, or one in every 10 people.

Traditional elder-care is fading

In traditional Chinese society, the elderly used to live with one of their children. But today more and more young adults are moving out, leaving their elderly parents alone. This means that the new generation of elderly people may not have family members to tend to their needs, as young people in the country traditionally have. 

In addition, China’s massive rural to urban migration has left in its wake elderly parents and grandparents whose geographic distance from their children means China’s traditional cross-generational housing model will no longer be an option.

Elder population is growing

A nationwide survey found that about 23 percent of China's seniors over the age of 65 live by themselves. Another survey conducted in Beijing showed that fewer than 50 percent of elderly women live with their children.

China’s dependency ratio for retirees -- those aged 65 or older divided by total working population -- as at 2015 was 14%. The UN estimates this could rise as high as 44% by 2050 with the number of those over 65 rising from approximately 100 million in 2005 to approximately 330 million in 2050, roughly the population of the United States and twice the current population of Russia.

A 2007 study by the United Nations estimated that in 2005 there were 16 retired people in China to every 100 workers. The study projected that this ratio will reach 64 elderly for every 100 workers by 2025.

Sources: ThoughtCo, Forbes, China Business Review