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China Must Address Aging Population Issues Beyond Birth Rate Boosting, Says Renmin University Professor

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Addressing China's Aging Population: Beyond Birth Rate Boosting

China's aging population issues cannot be solely resolved by increasing childbirths, according to Du Peng, the vice principal of Renmin University of China. Regardless of the number of children born, the population of individuals aged 60 and above is projected to double to over 500 million by 2050. To mitigate the economic impact of these demographic changes, Du suggests policymakers take immediate action. This includes raising the retirement age, improving insurance coverage, increasing retirees' social participation, and implementing other measures.

Population Growth Challenges

China's population growth has slowed due to declining birth rates and longer lifespans. Over the past decade, Beijing has gradually relaxed the strict policies that limited households to one child for approximately three decades. However, factors such as high education and housing costs, particularly in urban areas with more job opportunities, have discouraged families from having more children.

Aging Population Issues Worldwide

China is not alone in facing aging population challenges. Many countries with similar situations grapple with a shrinking younger workforce supporting a larger proportion of the population. Du Peng closely observes how other nations, particularly Ireland and France, address these issues. China also engages in increased communication with South Korean and Japanese scholars to learn from their experiences.

Rural vs. Urban Elderly

China's unique situation involves a significant portion of the elderly population residing in rural areas rather than cities. This poses distinct challenges in terms of providing adequate healthcare, social support, and infrastructure to support the aging population in these regions. In conclusion, addressing China's aging population requires a multifaceted approach that extends beyond boosting birth rates. By implementing measures such as raising the retirement age, improving insurance coverage, and increasing social participation for retirees, China can better navigate the economic impact of demographic changes. Learning from the experiences of other countries and addressing the specific needs of the rural elderly population will be crucial in developing effective strategies for the future.

Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses Amid China's Aging Population

The issue of China's aging population and the strategies to address it present both challenges and opportunities for new businesses. The demographic shift towards an older population could reshape market demands, necessitating businesses to adapt their products and services.

Opportunities in Healthcare and Elderly Services

With an increasing number of elderly individuals, particularly in rural areas, there's a growing demand for healthcare and elderly services. New businesses in these sectors could find significant opportunities in addressing these needs.

Workforce Challenges and Solutions

The shrinking younger workforce presents challenges in terms of labor supply. However, raising the retirement age and increasing retirees' social participation could mitigate this issue. Businesses could also explore opportunities in automation and digital solutions to address labor shortages.

Learning from Global Experiences

China's engagement with other countries facing similar issues provides valuable insights for businesses. Understanding how countries like Ireland, France, South Korea, and Japan are addressing their aging population issues could inform business strategies. In conclusion, China's aging population presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for new businesses. By understanding these dynamics and adapting accordingly, businesses can thrive in this changing demographic landscape.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/13/china-cant-rely-on-boosting-births-to-address-aging-population-professor-says.html
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