Saturday, May 13, 2006

Aging population: The big threat to Chinese Economy?

(By Razib Ahmed)

China has now 143 million of people over the age of 60. For a population of more than 1 billion this figure may not look to be too much but the horrifying factor is that this figure is increasing very rapidly and if this trend continues then by 2050 30% of Chinese population will belong to the category of aging (elderly) people or senior citizens. Well, these days, media is discussing mainly about the fact that by 2050, Chinese economy will surpass US economy and emerge as the largest economy in the world. These days, China is literally unstoppable in the manufacturing world and many workers are losing jobs in Europe, America and even other parts of Asia, as cheap Chinese products are flooding their markets but When I read the article in People's Daily Online with the headline, 'China's elderly population reaches 143 million', then I realized one thing that aging population is going to be the biggest threat to the continuous growth in Chinese economy within a decade or two. I am quoting from the report here:
"By the year 2030, the proportion of the elderly and children and working people will rise sharply to over 50 percent as the elderly population is increasing drastically. By then, every 100 working people will have to support 50 children and the elderly.
China is still ranking as a relatively low income country with per capita GDP just surpassing 1000 US dollars, China does not have enough strength to cope with the aging challenge yet as the economy is still weak."

That is a troublesome picture- isn't it? On other hand, this is a world wide phenomenon and there should be more research on helping people active until the age of 70-75.