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China’s Elderly Population to Reach 400 million in 2035

China has become an aging society. It is estimated that the number of elderly people over 60 will reach 400 million in 15 years, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the population. Some organizations predict that the labor force will shrink substantially in the future. Statistics show that there were 14.65 million newborn babies nationwide last year. The birth rate dropped to about 10 per thousand. It is projected that, in ten years, it will further drop to less than 11 million births every year. After the “two-child policy” was adopted, there was no peak in the number of births.

Zheng Gongcheng, a Chinese scholar, said at a recent forum that the process has been accelerating. It is expected that by 2035, China will be considered a “super-aged society.” The average annual increase in the elderly population is about 10 million, and the total will reach about 400 million by then. The number of the elderly population, that is, those over 80 years old, will increase by more than 1 million annually.

A country is defined by the United Nations as “aging” if the percentage of those over 65 exceeds 7 percent; it is considered “aged” if it exceeds 14 percent, and “super-aged” when it is over 20 percent. In 2011, the weighted average of the percentage of the global aging population was 8.1 percent, indicating that the world has entered the era of aging.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 14, 2020