China’s social stability and economic growth could come under threat due to the population growing old before it grows rich, Reuters reported, citing a report from the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. By 2050, China will have more than 438 million people older than 60, with more than 100 million of them aged 80 and above. This means there will be just 1.6 working-age adults to support every person aged 60 and above, compared to 7.7 in 1975. This is a result of slowing population growth due to the one-child policy and a longer average lifespan due to rising living standards. The “premature aging” of the population “threatens to impose a rising burden on the young, slow economic and living standard growth and become a socially destabilizing force in a country where the stresses of rapid modernization are already straining the civic fabric,” the report said. It suggests that the government guarantee a minimum pension for all old people. At present, less than one-third of China’s workforce has pension cover.
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