How China is adapting to a low birth rate

How China is adapting to a low birth rate
  • Jonathan Rowe
  • 09.02.2024

China's population is aging very rapidly. To raise the birth rate, the country has created a new plan and is going to restructure its economy to meet the new demands.

Some of the new requirements were announced by the State Council on Monday. Specifically, institutions are now required to better serve people of age. In addition, China is allocating a lot of money for the development of parks. There are plans to improve more than ten of them. Quite a lot of money will be invested in special products aimed at the elderly.

Now about 6% of China's GDP is spent on the "silver economy". This is practically 1 trillion dollars and 7 trillion local yuan. Some analysts say that already in 2035 this figure will be 10% of GDP, that is 4 trillion dollars or 30 trillion yuan. At the moment, the 60+ population is almost 20% of the country's population and will double in 25 years.

Such indicators show that China needs to take urgent action. For example, the State Council is going to invest in healthcare and pursue a policy of rejuvenating the population. They will also develop cosmetology, it will help to fight some aging diseases.

All this is outlined in a special policy document - this is the first such set of principles and requirements that address the needs of the elderly population, adopted at the country level. In fact, this branch of the economy was planned to be developed as early as 2022. At that time, they had already outlined common goals, and now all of this will be realized.

Many countries with a high proportion of seniors are now looking to increase the share of aging population in the labor market. China does not seem committed to doing so. Meanwhile, in the G7 countries, people 55+ will have more than a hundred million jobs in as little as five years.

The age for retirement in China is now relatively low. It is 60 for men and 50 for women who work in manufacturing. Due to this, the government plans to gradually raise it.

Despite all the measures taken, the current situation threatens a demographic crisis. Moreover, it may turn out to be a catastrophe for China, up to the point of its displacement from the position of the world's second economy.

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