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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 14:59, May 13, 2006
China's elderly population reaches 143 million
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China has had the largest number of the aged people of 143 million in the world, accounting for one fifth of the world's total.

Over the past 20 years, the aging population in China increased by 3.02 million every year and by the year 2050, three out of 10 Chinese will be the seniors.

It's predicted that in the 21st century, China will undergo three periods of population aging.

From 2001 to 2020, it will be a phase of rapid aging. China's elderly population will increase by 5.96 million each year, with an expected aging population of 248 million by 2020.

From 2021 to 2050, China will experience an escalated process of aging. The elderly population will hit 400 million by 2050 and the number of people over 80 years old will be 94.48 million.

From 2051 to 2100, China will enter into the most severe aging phase with the aging population reaching a peak of 437 million. Afterwards, the number will start to decline and stabilize at 300-400 million.����

China now has 11 provinces and municipalities with aging level exceeding that of the national average. They are Shanghai, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Beijing, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Liaoning, Shandong, Sichuan, Hunan and Anhui.

There are 4.64 million more female seniors than the male ones. The number will reach a peak of 26.45 million by 2049.

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.

Beijing has 2.02 million senior citizens

By the end of 2005, the number of Beijing's senior citizens had reached 2.02 million, accounting for 13.1 percent of the total permanent population in the city and growing by 4 percent annually. The capital city has completely stepped into an aging society. It is estimated that by 2010, the number of people who are over 60 years old will amount to 2.25 million, taking up 14 percent of Beijing's total population.

Experts say the proportion of the working population and those aged in the city has not reached 40 percent yet, that means working people do not have to bear too much burden now.

Statistics show about 50 percent of the city's senior citizens are dwelling in four districts of Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Xicheng. Chaoyang has the largest number of senior population, making up 16.9 percent of the city's total, while in Chongwen District, 17.1 percent of people are over 60.

Shanghai has 2.6637 million senior citizens

By the end of 2005, the number of people who are over 60 years old reached 2.6637 million, taking up 19.58 percent of the metropolis' population with Hukou or residence certificates.

Shanghai registers a total of 600 senior citizens who are 100 years old or above with 132 male and 468 female, a rise of 52 people over a year ago.

The oldest citizen of Shanghai, named Hu Amei, was born in 1895.

The top three areas in Shanghai with the largest aging population are Jingan District, Luwan District and Chongming County.

Experts predict that Shanghai will continue the momentum of fast aging in the next five years. The city will reach its high-speed aging phase from 2010 to 2020. By the year 2020, the ratio of the aged will exceed 30 percent, namely, one out of three Shanghainese will be over 60.

Tianjin sees 30,000 more seniors each year

By the end of 2005, Tianjin registers 9.3931 million population with Hukou, of which, 1.4242 million are over 60, accounting for 15.16 percent of the city's total.

The aged population in the city rose by 30,000 annually. In 2005 alone, the number of the aged increased by 52,500 over the previous year, and the number of people over 80 was 179.600, an increase of 15,000 people over the previous year, representing 12.61 percent of the total senior population.

Tianjin has a total of 216 one hundred-year-old people.

Sichuan has 9.3795 million aged

Statistics show the aging population over the age of 60 in Sichuan was 9.3795 million, taking up 11.39 percent of the province's total. Those who are over 65 reached 6.2294 million making up 7.56 percent of the total population. It also marks that the province has become an aging society.

According to a survey conducted on the reason why there are more male senior citizens than the female ones in the province, 401 of the total 646 respondents hold that the biggest social problem aroused by the imbalanced sex will be the difficulty of men getting married at the right age. 326 respondents think more and more women will marry men elder than them and 166 surveyed said men will face more and more serious problem on pension.

By People's Daily Online

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