China's Aging Population and Challenges It Is Facing

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 1:15 PM
Room: 502
Oral Presentation
Yi ZHANG , Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
According to Chinese population projections, the paper analyzes future aging process of different historical periods. Findings indicate that unless the family planning policy reforms in future decades, the bottom of population pyramid will shrink dramatically, and growing life expectancy will progressively expand its top. By the year 2050, the aging population over 65 will account for 25% of the society. Considering the reduction of children population, the population in the labor force between 15-64 years old will also decrease. 

This population transition will bring some very serious problems in the near future: Firstly, China will face the shortage of labor force if automatic standards of production process can’t be improved, especially in the low-end industries. It means migrant workers’ income will keep increasing and the labor cost in the production process will be getting higher. It will produce some negative effect on China’s international competitiveness.

Whereas aging process will accelerate, the adult population will save money for their future aging, restricting the consumption rate. It will affect the domestic spending policy. On the one hand, the decreasing of children population will lower family’s expenditure rate, on the other hand, the lower level social security will prevent the people in the labor force from contributing more to savings in their productive years.

With the population transition and the changing Chinese family structure, the aging people will face the shortage of social support network, especially due to lack of family members’ support.  The linkage between mother’ and children’s family will weaken because of population migration. Thus Chinese aging population will have to depend on their spouses for their care. If they lose their spouse, the aging people will have to be send to beadhouse to be cared for. But up to now, China has not prepared enough beadhouses for their aging population.