Beijing, Feb 18 (IANS) People aged 65 years and older are expected to make up for around 30 per cent of China’s population in the next 30 years, authorities said on Monday.
This is a significant rise as compared to the 11.9 per cent growth recorded in 2018, said an expert.
“Rapid aging of the population will place great pressure on the pension fund and the workforce, and family members will face unprecedented pressure to take care of the elderly,” said Wang Guangzhou, a researcher at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
According to official data of 2018, people aged 65 and above account for some 11.9 per cent of the total population. But due to gradual decrease of the population in proportion to those above 65 years, their numbers “will increase rapidly” over the coming decades, Efe news quoted Wang as saying.
Yuan Xin, a population studies professor in Nankai University, said the overall population decrease along with an aging population could result in a fall of around 700 million people – in the working age group of 15 to 59 years – by 2050 from the current 897.3 million, marking a 22 per cent decline.
However, Yuan added that the changes in the economic structures would not lead to a shortage of workforce under the circumstances.
He said increasing the age of retirement from 60 to 65 could increase the workforce by some 100 million, reported the China Daily.
According to the “Green Book of Population and Labour”, a report published by CASS in January, the Chinese population is set to peak in 2029 at 1.44 billion and is expected to start declining afterwards.
The population is projected to be some 1.36 billion in 2025 and will reach around 1.2 billion in 2065, a similar number to that of the year 1996.
However, the report said that if the birth rate remains unchanged at 1.6 children per woman, the population will begin declining 2027 onward and will drop less than 1.2 billion in 2065, recording the same number as in 1990.
China had put an end to its strict one child policy in 2015 to address the perils of a rapidly-ageing population.