Demographics and aging

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The People's Republic of China (PRC) has the largest population and also the largest number of older persons of any nation globally (Phillips and Feng, 2018). During the decades following the PRC's inception in 1949, it has developed one of the world's most interesting demographic profiles and, looking forward from 2018, it promises to have one of the most important demographic aging patterns. China is arguably the outstanding example of a modern nation in which population policies and economic development have directly affected
population structure and demographic aging. As a result, demographic changes, and especially aging, have emerged as major national concerns and for some time have been expressly considered in national development planning at the highest levels (Phillips and Feng, 2015). This chapter focuses on four major
aspects of demography and demographic aging in contemporary China, with a particular view to likely future trends and consequences. First, we introduce the demographic drivers of aging; second, we discuss the nature and legacies of recent population policies (especially the one-child policy) and effects on demographic structure in the context of rising incomes and urbanization; third, the emerging gender imbalance and potential social effects of ‘surplus’ males; and fourth, we consider costs and actual and potential issues related to social support in the context of population aging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sage handbook on contemporary China
EditorsWeiping WU, Mark Fraser
PublisherSAGE, New York and London
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781473948945, 9781526455598
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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