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Addressing China’s Aging Population: Raising Retirement Age and Increasing Social Participation

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China’s Aging Population Issues: Beyond Increasing Childbirths

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China is facing a significant challenge with its aging population, and simply increasing childbirths will not be enough to address this issue, according to Du Peng, vice principal of Renmin University of China.

Regardless of the number of children born in China, the population of individuals aged 60 and above is expected to double to over 500 million by the year 2050, Du stated during a recent talk.

To minimize the economic impact of these demographic changes, Du suggested that policymakers should take immediate action by implementing measures such as raising the retirement age, improving insurance coverage, and increasing retirees’ social participation.

Du, who is the director of the university’s Institute of Gerontology and a member of the expert committee for China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, emphasized the importance of proactive initiatives.

China’s population growth has slowed down due to declining birth rates and increased life expectancy. In response, the government has gradually relaxed its strict one-child policy that had been in place for three decades.

Factors like high education and housing costs, particularly in urban areas where job opportunities are abundant, have also deterred families from having more children.

China is not alone in facing the challenges of an aging population. Many other countries with similar situations are confronted with a shrinking younger workforce that must support a larger proportion of elderly citizens.

Du highlighted the importance of learning from other countries’ experiences, particularly mentioning Ireland and France, which have implemented strategies to address aging population issues. He also mentioned increased communication with scholars from South Korea and Japan on the subject.

Interestingly, it was only in 2018, during a visit to Singapore, that Du was asked about China’s experience in handling aging population issues for the first time.

Du pointed out that China faces a unique situation where a significant portion of its elderly population resides in rural areas rather than cities.

Read more about China from Visegrad Info 24 Pro

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