Ageing society

Ageing society

China is getting very old very fast
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 2022: the year when China is expected to officially become an “aged society.”  By 2022, one out of seven people in China will likely be aged 65 years or older, according to a report from the Chinese research firm Evergrande Research Institute. In 2019, that number was one in ten. An “aged society” is defined by the United Nations as a country where more than 14.3% of a population is at or above the age of 65. An “aging society” is when that age group makes up 7.2% of the total population.  China’s aging population, coupled with a low birth rate, is one of the most pressing pr
Punishment for ‘unfilial’ children sparks debate over elderly care
A Chinese county’s move to punish “unfilial” people has fueled a debate over the state’s role in taking care of China’s rapidly aging population. Xunyang, one of the poorest counties in the northwestern Chinese province of Shaanxi, said last week it would punish people who fail to take good care of their elderly parents. Chinese people are customarily expected to care for their elderly parents. But the county’s plan to punish those who fail to provide financial support to their parents has triggered a backlash online. This is “the government saying it’s done caring for the elderly and the responsibility is now on the offspring,” one commentator wrote on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.  China is
Chinese women have fewer children – and they’re cool with that
For about 20 years, women in Hong Kong have reliably told survey-takers that their ideal number of children is one or two. The average “ideal” value has been around 1.6 children. The statistic’s stability would make you think that this ideal is normal. But it’s quite unusual. According to research I’ve conducted for the US-based Institute for Family Studies, it is exceedingly rare for women to report average fertility ideals below two children. Women in South Korea, Japan and Singapore say they consider between two and three children to be ideal. Surveys vary for Taiwan, but most suggest ideals of between 1.8 and 2.4 children. Data from the United States suggests that ethnically Chinese wome
Inkstone index: China’s dwindling marriages
7.2 per thousand: China’s marriage rate in 2018. The Chinese marriage rate has been falling for five years in a row since 2013, hitting a new low last year, according to the country’s National Statistics Bureau and Civil Affairs Bureau. The number, which comes as China grapples with a falling birth rate and a mounting number of divorces, reflects growing anxiety among younger Chinese who are worried about salary, housing and jobs. In 2013 the marriage rate was 9.9 per thousand, and it’s fallen steadily to 7.2 per thousand to 2018, the statistics show. China’s marriage rate increased steadily from 2006 and peaked at 2013. The falling marriage rate is directly linked to a region’s income leve