February 1, 2005
"This book is a valuable contribution to the literature. It asks the right questions and gives the right answers."--Pieter Bottelier, Visiting Associate Professor of China Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and Former Chief of the Beijing Office, World Bank
China, the world's most populous nation, faces a period of rapid aging that will outpace the aging of most of the world's populations. Between 2010 and 2040, the proportion of people aged 65 and older will rise from 7 percent to 25 percent. This grand demographic change poses difficult questions about how to provide and sustain an adequate retirement income and a minimum level of health care for the elderly, who will number more than 332 million in 2050. The Chinese government faces enormous challenges as it tries to steer the rapidly aging nation toward a market economy and orderly integration into the global economy. Robert England assesses the factors driving China's transitions and examines the financial burdens weighing on the government. He reviews the wider social, political, and economic effects of aging and concludes that, over the long term, demographics will probably affect China’s economic development and reform efforts--and its role on the global stage--more than any other factor.
Robert Stowe England has been a financial editor and journalist for more than 20 years. From 1999 to 2002, he served as director of research for the CSIS Global Aging Initiative, and he is the author of three CSIS studies published in 2002: The Fiscal Challenge of an Aging Industrial World; Global Aging and Financial Markets; and The Macroeconomic Impact of Global Aging.