The 'Greying' of China
China has started to evolve from typically young population of developing nation into an adult population. Nevertheless, in international perspective, the Chinese population is still quite young. The marked fall infertility since the launching of the one-child campaign in 1979 is too recent to have affected the numbers above childhood. In spite of relatively highlife expectancy China does not yet qualify as an old-age population, and the problem of aging will not become serious until well into the next century. While the variations in the aging population trend between the Han and minority nationalities and those between the rural and urban areas
are small, the differences between the advanced coastal region and the backward interior are striking. Shanghai has already turned into an 'aged city'. Although the 'greying' of China is not expected to lead to a labour shortage or to state of 'overdependency', the gradual shift of the dependency burden from the young to the old will substantially increase government expenditure on the support of the non-working population. Given China's low GNP, the ability of the State to provide universal pension scheme for its rapidly growing numbers of retirees is suspect.
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