Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

The Greying of China

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Apr• 28•06

It is a great achievement that China has one of the highest life expectancy rates (72.6) of any country in the developing world. However, the CIA World Factbook reports that “One demographic consequence of the ‘one child’ policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world.” The Demography Matters blog reports “Beginning around 2015, China‚Äôs post war baby boom generation will reach retirement age, and because of the one-child policy implemented since 1980, working-age population will start to shrink. By 2050, China will lose 18% of its workforce, assuming a fertility rate of 1.8, or 35% assuming a fertility rate of 1.35

The greying of China is a serious matter. As the future comes nearer, there will be less workers to pay for huge costs of elderly medical benefits. Continued rapid economic growth is one cure to this problem, but economies of the world are inherently volatile. Allowing immigration of younger workers in the future could also help to alleviate the fiscal burdens. We can see that the ‘one child’ policy, in addition to reducing the individual liberties of China’s citizens, has also created a serious fiscal problem for China’s future.

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