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One in four Chinese 'aged above 65 by 2050'

[ 2010-05-20 14:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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Nearly one out of every four people in the country will be older than 65 by the year 2050, demographers have forecast.

The country's population, currently 1.33 billion, will not exceed 1.5 billion, Jiang Weiping, director-general of the China Population and Development Research Center, said at a population forum on Wednesday.

The population will peak around the year 2040 at about 1.47 billion people before starting to decline, he said, citing forecasts from the center's population administration decision information system.

China's population will also make up 15 percent of the world's population, down from the longtime 20 percent and above, Jiang said.

The country's family planning policies have helped prevent 400 million births in the past three decades, according to statistics.

The country's current fertility rate is 1.8, which means every woman is giving birth to 1.8 children. That rate is ideal, said Hania Zlotnik, director of the population division of the United Nations Secretariat.

A fertility rate lower than 1.5 or higher than 2.3 will be problematic, she said.

However, the aging trend is irreversible in China, as by 2050, 350 million out of the total 1.45 billion Chinese people will be older than 65, Jiang said.

About 180 million people were older than 60 by last year, earlier population reports said.

China will see two peaks in its aging population - a net growth of 7 million a year between 2015 and 2020, and 10 million a year between 2030 and 2035.

Aging has been regarded as a problem for many countries, as researchers worry it can lead to labor shortages, lower productivity and skyrocketing medical expenses, said Wu Cangping, a professor at Renmin University of China.

Still, China will not be short of workers. The labor supply will peak at 1 billion around 2015 and remain above 850 million until 2050, Jiang said.


1. What is China’s current population?

2. When will the population peak?

3. What was the effect of China’s family planning policies?


1. 1.33. billion.

2. Around 2040 at about 1.47 billion before starting to decline.

3. They helped prevent 400 million births in the past three decades.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

One in four Chinese 'aged above 65 by 2050'

About the broadcaster:

One in four Chinese 'aged above 65 by 2050'

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.