China's ageing population

China's ageing population

A court ruling might help Chinese women to enjoy more maternity leave
A company that fired a woman for taking too much maternity leave must pay her salary compensation and severance pay, a Chinese court ruled in a hearing made public on March 3. Legal experts said the ruling signals a desire by authorities to enforce maternal leave policies in the hope that it encourages more people to have children.  China faces a demographics crisis that got far more urgent in 2020 after the government recorded a 15% decrease in newborns registered its hukou housing system.  The woman, surnamed Zhong, had worked in the company for seven years before going on maternity leave in May 2019.  Three months later, the company discharged her because they said she was not showing up
Golf may be a wellness secret for China aging population
As China’s population continues to get older, one sport could help the country age gracefully, and its citizens live a bit longer: Golf.   In February 2020, research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference revealed that golfing at least once a month is linked to a lower risk of death among older adults. Researchers followed nearly 5,900 adults aged 65 and up for a decade and found that regular golfers, playing at least once a month, were more than 8% less likely to die from any cause than non-golfers. It even helps with mental health. Winnie Teoh always feels good after a game of golf with friends. “It’s not just a fun way to stay fit,” said the semi-r
China aging population accelerating in some regions
The world’s most populous country is facing a looming demographic crisis, with new data showing the birth rate in some regional areas of China dropped by more than 30% compared to 2019. The figures signal a potential economic and political catastrophe for China’s future as it contends with a smaller working-age population who will have to support a fast-growing aging society.  “We can say that even though the number of births in 2020 might be the lowest in recent decades, it is likely to be the highest in the next few decades, unless miraculous achievements were made via encouraging births in the future,” said Huang Wenzhen, a senior researcher from the Center for China and Globalization, a
More child policy: Government wants to convince Chinese to have more babies
A provincial government in China wants to create a framework to incentivize people to have more children, but there are real questions about if it is possible.  The policy proposal in Shanxi, in central China, wants the government to create a “good matchmaking environment and encourage women aged between 21 and 29 to give birth during this optimal reproductive period.” The proposal reflects deep anxiety in China about a looming demographic crisis.  Chinese people have fewer children, and the country’s population is rapidly aging. The total population is expected to start to shrink as soon as 2027, a scenario that the government worries could slow down economic growth and put pressure on the
Chinese factory workers are graying quickly
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 24.6%: The percentage of Chinese factory workers that are older than 50. China’s factory workers are aging quickly. In 2009, 12.2% of factory workers in China were aged 50 years or older. By 2019, that number had grown to 24.6%.  At the same time, the percentage of young people – aged between 21 to 30 – fell from 35.8% to 23.1%, according to data compiled by the 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese newspaper. The numbers point to an economy that is shifting away from its manufacturing core and toward a service-based model.   Furthermore, the changing demographics
China’s pensions gap forces rural peasants to labor into old age
In most parts of rural China, the elderly must continue to rely on their own labor, their children or their savings to support themselves in their twilight years. Chen Yunfeng, the chief of Yancang village in central China, has grown dismayed by the disadvantages that aging rural peasants face. “We plant grains, but grains are cheap,” Chen said while puffing cigarettes under a no-smoking sign in his little office. “And we are getting old, but there’s little welfare.” According to Chen, who is in his late fifties, a peasant from the village can receive a monthly pension of just 112 yuan ($16) after the retirement age of 60 – a tiny sum that is well below the average daily wage in Chinese citi
What’s behind China’s looming demographic crisis?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. With one in six people on Earth calling it home, China is the world’s most populous country, where a large city can have as many residents as any industrialized nation does. The sheer size of the population has helped develop the country into the world’s second-biggest economy.  But while decades of managed growth in China’s population had paid dividends, the country is on the verge of a potential demographic crisis as a result of government actions, including policy to limit most families to have no more than one child. China’s population is expected to
China Trends: Starbucks rejects coins, and an end to two-child policy?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. Coins for coffee China’s digital payment revolution may have gone too far for some. Starbucks China was forced to apologize over the weekend after a viral video showed an employee refusing to accept coins as payment. The footage, which was shot at an unspecified location in China, sparked a backlash on social media from users who pointed out that it was illegal to reject coins or cash under Chinese law. In China, mobile payments have largely replaced cash as the norm for anything from dining at restaurants to paying tax
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
Marriages in China hit 11-year low. Here’s why that means trouble
Marriages in China hit an 11-year low last year, posing an additional challenge to efforts to boost consumption, stabilize the economy and tackle the nation’s looming demographic problems. A total of 10.14 million couples were married in 2018, down 4.6% from the previous year, while the marriage rate dropped to 7.3 per 1,000 from 7.7 per 1,000 last year, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The trend continued in the first half of 2019, with the number of marriages dropping 7.7% from a year earlier to 4.98 million. The marriage rate has fallen steadily from the recent high of 9.9% in 2013 as the younger generation avoids marriage due to financial concerns amid the weakening economy. C