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adroth

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China’s spike in births will not alleviate its ageing problem
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:25:54 PM »
China’s spike in births will not alleviate its ageing problem
Jan 24th 2017

https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/01/daily-chart-19

CHINA is the most populous country in the world, but is also one of the fastest-ageing. So it was with some fanfare that the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced on January 22nd that the country’s birth rate shot up in 2016. Almost 18.5m babies were born last year, an annual jump of 11.5%. The National Bureau of Statistics also announced its own figures around the same time: it said the number of births had risen 8% to almost 18m, the highest number since 2000, and the biggest annual increase in three decades.

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At first glance, this sum sounds enormous: it is roughly the entire population of Peru. Nonetheless, in the Chinese context, it is still probably insufficient to cure the country’s demographic woes. When the one-child policy was introduced in 1979, a third of the population was under 15. The number of people of working age soon swelled as they entered the labour market. But it peaked in 2013, and today the country is greying. One in ten Chinese is now 65 or older. By 2050, pensioners will number around 370m and account for more than one-quarter of the population. This places a bigger financial burden on the dwindling share of workers who must support them.

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