Saturday, 24 March 2012

Britain is no country for old men today and China will be no country for old men tommorow

A recent article in the Guardian was entitled :

China faces 'timebomb' of ageing population

Life expectancy in China is increasing but the number of young adults is plummeting due to strict birth control policies

It cited 84-year-old, He Daxing, huddled on the doorstep of his daughter's home in Chongqing who, while hundreds of millions of Chinese families toasted the New Year together, not one of his six grown children, born before the country's one-child policy was imposed, would take him in.
Filial piety is so embedded in China that officials offered to help him sue his children when he fell ill after four nights outside, since Chinese law requires adults to support their parents. Yet his case shows that traditional ideals are under growing pressure in a fast-changing, increasingly individualistic society.

The article made the following points, that China  :

*  may soon have many more 'He Daxings' as it faces a soaring number of old men and women and a shrinking number of young adults, who are also less able – and sometimes less willing – to support their parents.

* is a country where life expectancy has soared while fertility has plummeted due to strict birth control policies.

* in 2009 had 167 million over-60s, about an eighth of the population but by 2050 will have 480 million, while at the same time the number of young people will have fallen.

* has an economic miracle fuelled by its 'demographic dividend': an unusually high proportion of working age citizens but that population bulge is becoming a problem as it ages and whereas in 2000 there were six workers for every over-60s, by 2030, there will be barely two.

* is the first country to face the issue before it has developed and one where Wang Dewen, of the World Bank's China Social Protection Team has said : "China is unique: she is getting older before she has got rich."

My earlier post on old men in China :

Sunday, 8 January 2012
Britain maybe no country for old men but is China still one ?

The Guardian article and video clip :

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