Economic constraints, insufficient workplace and government support for parents (particularly mothers), and, likely, decades of messaging extolling the benefits of raising a single child have kept birth rates stubbornly low. At the same time, health advances have China’s elderly living longer than ever. In 2000, those 65 and older made up 7 percent of the population; by 2019, that figure had reached 12.57 percent. This demographic imbalance will have major implications for the country’s labor force, along with its ability to grow its economy.
The demographic shift sees China joining the ranks of countless countries across the globe that are struggling with the same issue. The difference, of course, is scale.