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China's demographic dividend may disappear in 30 months

(People's Daily Online)

10:55, July 18, 2013

Li Peilin, vice president of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, predicted that China's demographic dividend will disappear before 2015.

Li claimed that with the advent of the turning point, many domestic social issues such as recruitment and retirement will be highlighted. It’s time for us to adjust the changing social security system and cope with rapidly changing population structure.

Changing population structure in the past 40 years: "Pyramid" reverses

The fourth census in 1990 showed that the population structure at that time looked like a standard Pyramid. In the following 20 years, things had changed greatly. The sixth census in 2010 showed that population structure had changed like a gyro. Demographers refer to this period as "demographic dividend" period, which features relative light social burden and sufficient labor force. Under this situation, our society experienced a huge development.

Nevertheless, Demographic dividend is transient. Experts deduced from the conclusion of the sixth census and predicted that the pyramid structure would get reversed in 2030.

Changing family structure: the minority supports the majority

Like the change of population structure, family structure almost turned upside down. According to Li’s analysis, the first generation of the “one-child policy” has grown up and got married gradually. It resulted in a situation that most of families consist of five members: grandparents, parents and one child. If the current policy persists, there will be multiple grandparents and the family structure will be reversed totally.

Li said that juniors who supported seniors used to constitute the majorities in Chinese traditional family; however, now, it turns out that the minority supports the majority as the family structure changed. Reformation of old-aged support model is extremely urgent.

Seasonal recruitment shortage becomes a long-term problem
Li said that the turning-point of population was expected to arrive in 2030, according to the fifth national census. But new data show that it will come in 2015. Consequently, the shortage of labor force and the increase of aged dependency ratio will occur.

The growth of labor force will decline annually and what’s worse, it might become negative eventually. Li believed that recruitment difficulty would turn into a lone-term problem.

The growing aged dependency ratio will pose challenge to our society from the aspects like public service, family structure, community composition, differences between urban and rural areas.

What is aged dependency ratio?

The aged dependency ratio is the percentage of the old non-working-age population to the working-aged population. It measures the number of seniors every 100 working-age people should support. Economically, the aged dependency ratio is an important factor to reflect the aging of population.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:ChenLidan、Ye Xin)

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