China's ageing population to reach peak of 400 million by 2055

A group of elderly Chinese people at the Forbidden City in Beijing on Oct 9, 2016.
A group of elderly Chinese people at the Forbidden City in Beijing on Oct 9, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - It is estimated that China's ageing population will reach its peak of 400 million by 2055, with large numbers of the elderly in rural areas and a prevalence of female senior citizens, a recent report showed.

The report, issued by Social Science Academic Press, pointed out that the Chinese ageing population, defined by an age threshold of 65, is expected to climb to 280 million by 2030, accounting for 20.2 per cent of the population. The number will further jump to 400 million by 2055, with an accompanying percentage of 27.2 per cent.

The years before 2040 will witness the fastest growth of the elderly population, with an annual growth of 0.5 per cent. The population's disproportionate female population is due to the longer average life expectancy of women compared to men, the report added.

"The ageing population in Japan and Korea is a natural result of transitioning economic development, while the phenomenon in China is largely due to family planning policies, which led to a decrease in births," noted Ma Li, a population expert and State Council counsellor.