China’s one-child rule turns into a time bomb

Pascale Trouillaud
via Yahoo! News

China’s one-child policy has prevented almost half a billion births but has turned into a demographic time bomb as the population ages, storing up huge economic and social problems for the country…

…three decades on, demographers, sociologists and economists are warning of a looming crisis as China becomes the only developing country in the world to face growing old before it grows rich.

China’s crisis is approaching “incomparably faster” than in Europe, where fertility has fallen very gradually over the last century, Paris-based demographer Christophe Guilmoto told AFP.

In the next five years the number of people in China over 60 will jump from 178 million to 221 million — 13.3 percent to 16 percent of the population — according to the People’s Daily Online

By 2050, a quarter of China’s population will be over 65, the Commission for Population and Family Planning said, compared to just nine percent today.

Already, half of China’s over-60s live alone, a situation unthinkable before, when four generations would live under one roof.

The upside-down pyramid — whereby a single child shoulders responsibility for two parents and four grandparents — is a major headache for the government, particularly as unemployment rises, forcing more and more people to migrate to cities for work…

…China already lacks medical facilities for the elderly, retirement homes and qualified health care workers. The government plans to double the number of beds in specialised institutions to six million by 2015, but that only covers the existing shortfall.

China has barely begun to put in place a universal social security and retirement system, and over two-thirds of the rural population does not have a pension…
Read the entire article at Yahoo! News.

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