The aging population of China brings three major social problems: greater pension pressure, increasing medical expenses, and the heavy burden of nursing care for the elderly, said Zheng Silin, a CPPCC member and Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Committee of Population, Resources and Environment.
Zheng made these remarks at a press conference on China's countermeasures of the aging population at the Fifth Session of the 10th National Committee of CPPCC on March 10.
In 2006, the Chinese Government granted over 500 billion yuan of pension to 460 billion pensioners nationwide, and the medical expenses of these people were more than 3 times that of the young population.
China has become an aging society, with 144 million elderly over 60 years old, about 11 percent of the total population, according to 2005 census, said Zhang.
China's aging population has four features. The first is the large population of the elderly, as China is the only country in the world with over 100 million elderly aged above 60. The second is the rapidly aging population. The proportion of the population aged over 60 is expected to rise from 11 percent in 2005 to 30 percent in 2045. The third is the low productivity of China, with a per-capita GDP smaller than many Western countries, hence leaving limited financial ability to support its aging programs. The fourth is the heavy burden derived from the country's transition from a planned economy to a market economy. China therefore has to shoulder the heavy burden left from the planned economy without a pension system.