Aging and China's Silver Industry: Based on a Sociological Survey of Urban and Rural Beijing in 2012

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 11:06 AM
Room: 304
Oral Presentation
Haisong NIE , Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Huang WEIFENG , Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan
By 2012, China’s population reached 1,354,040,000. The 60+ age group accounted for 14.3% while the 65+ age group alone accounted for 9.4%. Every year, the 60+ age group continues to increase by 8.6 million and will reach one third (32.8%) the population by 2050. At this rate, the 65+ age group will equal 14% of the population by 2026 and by 2040 will reach 316,720,000 making China a super-aged society.

While the population ages at an accelerated rate, traditional care provided by families is declining. In response, the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) encourages China’s central and local governments to promote the introduction of private capital into the senior care industry, to cultivate growth of related industries and to take active measures to foster a society which meets the needs of the aging population. Preferential measures and tax benefits for private investors in the senior care industry have also been implemented. The industry is wide-ranging with new opportunities surfacing and growth is expected.

However, China’s senior care industry, situated in the largest consumer society worldwide, still lags relatively behind in terms of investment, human resources, awareness, and policies or funding. There is a massive potential market and yet demands both soft and hard are overwhelming the supply and China cannot keep up with the needs of the aging population.

From this backdrop we examine challenges facing China’s aging population from a macro perspective including an overview of related policy trends followed by the findings of research funded by the Japanese Government and in cooperation with related institutions throughout China. We surveyed over 400 subjects aged 50+ (August-November 2012) in urban and rural Beijing regarding their lifestyle and consumption yielding a glimpse of their current situation as well as potential opportunities.