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Population Research – Xinhua News Service

China is Aging
Xinhua News Service
August 26, 1999

HANGZHOU: East China’s Zhejiang Province, one of the country’s economic powerhouses, will take a series of measures to deal with the problems faced by an increasingly aged population.

These steps will include fostering enterprises related to the elderly, establishing social service centers, improving the social security system, and drafting a rational population control plan.

According to international standards, a population becomes an aging one when more than one-tenth of it reaches the age of 60, or seven percent reach the age of 65. Censuses indicate that over one-tenth of the population of Zhejiang were at least 60 years old in 1987, and more than seven percent of them reached 65 in 1991.

Sources with the provincial government say that the aging process has transcended the present level of local economic and social development, presenting a challenge to nearly every aspect of society.

Along with Zhejiang Province, the municipalities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin, and the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Hunan and Sichuan also face aging populations.

Nationwide, China will become an aging country next year, when 130 million people will be 60 years old or older, making up over one-tenth of the total population. Experts predict that in about ten years the entire world will be an aging population, sometime around the year 2010.