The Demographic Crisis Is Going To Hurt Most In Rural China

China’s demographic crisis will really sting in the rural areas, according to a new book from the World Bank.

Not only are the rural elderly facing more rapid ageing, have less support, but they have also been worse off compared to urban elderly as well as to younger rural generations.

The gap between the rural and urban old-age dependency ratios from 2008 was 4.5 per cent and is expected to widen to 13.3 percentage points by 2030 when the rural old-age dependency ratio will climb to 34.4 per cent and the urban will reach 21.1 per cent. Furthermore, the proportion of working-age people in rural areas will drop from 69.0 per cent in 2008 to 63.5 per cent in 2030. The working population will remain above 70 per cent in the urban areas. 

Most of these rural elderly already work well beyond age 70, retiring only when physically unable to work anymore. The report does note, however, that “labour as primary source of support falls sharply during their sixties.” After the age 55 savings, which are strongly correlated with income, also tend to decrease.

china population pyramid 1982 2005

Photo: The World Bank


China population rural versus national

Photo: Business Insider

See also: Satellite pictures of Chinese ghost cities > 

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