China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study

  • Aging Chinese face a bleak picture, By Tom Orlik, May 30, 2013, Wall Street Journal: “China’s elderly are poor, sick and depressed in alarming numbers, according to the first large-scale survey of those over 60, an immense challenge for Beijing and one of the greatest long-term vulnerabilities of the Chinese economy. The survey of living conditions for China’s 185 million elderly paints a bleak picture that defies the efforts of the government to build what it calls a ‘harmonious society,’ one dedicated to human welfare rather than simply economic growth. Of the generation that built China’s economic boom, 22.9%—or 42.4 million—live in poverty with consumption of less than 3,200 yuan a year ($522). The fear of being old and poor, which prompts many Chinese to stash away their earnings, also cuts against another of Beijing’s priorities: to rebalance the economy toward stronger consumption…”
  • New portrait of China’s 185 million seniors, By Charles Riley, May 31, 2013, CNNMoney: “The study, with a sample size of almost 18,000, offers a rare snapshot of China’s rapidly aging population. China currently has more than 185 million citizens over the age of 60. The elderly now account for around 12% of China’s population, a figure that is predicted to swell to 34% by 2050. And significant challenges are ahead. At present, 32% of elderly Chinese reported having poor health, 38% said they were disabled, 23% are below the poverty line and 40% show symptoms of depression…”

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