Archive for ‘demographics’

22/09/2017

China’s demographic divisions are getting deeper

IF DEMOGRAPHY is destiny, as Auguste Comte, a French philosopher, once said, then China has many destinies.

As a result of 30 years of the now-relaxed one-child policy, the country has an exceptionally low overall fertility rate: 1.2 according to the census of 2010. (The fertility rate is the number of children an average woman can expect to bear during her lifetime. If it is less than 2.1 a population will shrink in the long run, unless immigration makes up for the dearth of babies.) What is almost never recognised, however, is that this is not a uniform problem. Just as China has richer and poorer regions, so it has areas of higher and lower fertility—or, to be more precise, of low and lower fertility.

As a whole, China has too few young adults relative to the size of older generations, meaning it will not have enough workers to support its pensioners (or children) properly in the future. But some areas will hit demographic trouble earlier and harder than others, with serious implications for economic growth and regional stability. Wang Feng, of the University of California, Irvine, dubs the problem “the Balkanisation of Chinese demography”.

The place with the lowest fertility is Beijing, where the rate was 0.71 in 2010. The highest rate that year was in Guangxi, a province in the south bordering Vietnam, where the fertility rate was 1.79. Both rates are below the replacement level. But Guangxi’s fertility is two-and-a-half times higher than Beijing’s, which is a wider spread than the one separating the states with the highest and lowest fertility in Brazil, and only a little less than the equivalent gap in India.

Degrees of dwindling

The main reason is that, in practice, the one-child policy was never uniform. Ethnic minorities, such as Tibetans or Uighurs (the largest group in the western province of Xinjiang), were never subject to it. Minorities, who account for 8% of the population nationwide, were usually allowed two children in urban areas and three or four in rural ones. In addition, in most rural areas, everyone, including the majority Han group, was allowed two children.

As a result China has four categories of fertility, not one (see map):

  1. Areas of ultra-low fertility (rates of less than 1). These are three mega-cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and three provinces in the north-east, sometimes called Manchuria, where the one-child policy was applied most strictly. They have a total population of 170m
  2. Areas where fertility is between 1 and 1.29. These include provinces on China’s populous coastline, as well as the huge Sichuan basin in western China. They are overwhelmingly Han areas, so had few exceptions to the one-child policy. They were also the places where China’s growth and urbanisation took off quickest after 1980, so have relatively few rural dwellers. This is the largest category, with 600m people.
  3. Provinces with fertility rates between 1.3 and 1.49. Many, such as Henan, Hunan and Anhui, are just inland from the coast. They, too, are populous (460m in total) and mostly Han but have fewer city-dwellers: more than half of the populations of Hunan and Anhui is rural. This group also includes several provinces with lots of members of minorities, such as Ningxia, in the north-west, which is a third Muslim.
  4. Areas with rates above 1.5, which tend both to be more rural and to have big minority populations, such as Guangxi. These have a total population of 116m.

Since the one-child policy was in force so long, differences in fertility have become entrenched and their impact profound. To take one example, provinces with relatively low fertility tend to have an even bigger excess of boys over girls than is the norm. Nationally, the imbalance has ebbed somewhat since 2000, with the sex ratio at birth falling from 121 boys for every 100 girls in 2005 to 114 in 2015. But in the north-east there has been little or no improvement—a worry considering the high levels of crime associated with large numbers of unmarried men (called “bare branches” in China).

Fertility is not the only force pushing provincial demography in different directions. The migration of more than 245m workers from poor, rural areas to booming cities amplifies the difference in fertility in some places and counteracts it in others.

In the decade before 2010 the population of Chongqing, a large urban province in the west, fell by 2m (or 6%); in neighbouring Sichuan it fell by 3m. Births exceeded deaths in both places over the period, so the population should have grown. But this was offset by the outflow of migrants. Cai Yong of the University of North Carolina calculates that more than 10m people left Sichuan and nearby Hubei.

The combination of migration and varying fertility means that provinces are ageing at different speeds. The median age nationally rose from 25 in 1990 to 35 in 2010; it had increased to 37 by 2016. But the three north-eastern provinces all aged by even more than average. In Liaoning the median age reached 39.2 in 2010, about the same as Russia. In contrast, the median age in Tibet, the youngest province, is 27.8, about the same as India.

Ageing matters because pension provision is partly a provincial responsibility in China. The value of the basic state pension is fixed nationally, but provinces set their own contribution rates, administer the money collected and distribute the pensions. How heavy a burden this is depends on a province’s demography. As a rule, the lower the fertility rate, the faster the rise in the dependency ratio (the number of pensioners relative to the number of working people). In relatively fecund Guizhou and Yunnan, the ratio is still falling. In Beijing and Shanghai, it rose by more than four percentage points between 2010 and 2015, more than the national average.

Giant cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin have ultra-low fertility and fast-rising dependency ratios yet are still able to attract young workers because China’s highest-paying jobs are clustered there. As a result, their demographic profile is healthier than you would expect. The three cities, which have provincial-level status, are China’s fastest-growing provinces by population, increasing by around 3% a year in 2000-10, thanks largely to migration. Since the migrants are mostly young, the cities’ median ages rose much more slowly than the national average and their dependency ratios remain relatively low. And since the cities are also rich, they have hospitals, social services and schools to cope with their demographic problems.

Provinces with high fertility and outward migration are the opposite. Take Hainan, a tropical island in the far south. It has high fertility (by Chinese standards) and stable dependency. It ought to be doing well. Yet it is one of China’s poorest provinces (23rd out of 31) and is ageing fast, mainly because hundreds of thousands of workers from the freezing north-east are spending their retirement there. Its medical services are collapsing under the strain.

To see the convergence of all these trends, compare two regions, the north-east and Guangdong. The north-east is China’s rust belt, a place of depleted coal mines and decayed steel mills. It has had low fertility for decades, falling below replacement levels as long ago as 1982, much earlier than elsewhere (and before the one-child policy even began). It also implemented the policy especially strictly because it is dominated by state-owned industries which decreed that people who had a second child would lose their jobs. “Who would risk it?” asks a former steel worker. The area’s high wages used to attract migrants from elsewhere in China. But since 2000, when heavy industry ran into trouble, it has suffered a net outflow of over 2m people. Hotels near the Harbin Institute of Technology (in the region’s largest city) are packed around graduation day with recruiters from southern firms.

Last year a series of articles in China Business News, a state-run newspaper, revealed the extent of the region’s demographic problems. In China as a whole, it said, there were 2.9 people paying into provincial pension schemes for every person drawing a pension. In Liaoning, there was only 1.8; in Jilin, 1.5; and in Heilongjiang, just 1.3. The region’s share of China’s young workers (20 to 39 years of age) fell from 10% in 1982 to 8% in 2010. Zhou Tianyong of the Central Party School in Beijing says the region’s lack of young workers is his biggest worry. The national government has a grand policy to help the region called “the north-east revitalisation plan”, but as one of the articles noted, the region’s demographic crisis is never discussed.

Now compare that with Guangdong at the other end of the country, next to Hong Kong. On the face of it, China’s largest province, with a population of 108m, also faces severe problems. Its fertility rate was reported to be 1 in 2010, more than in the north-east but still alarmingly low. Yet its population rose more quickly in 2000-10 than any other province except the three huge cities. Its median age is five years below that in the north-east. It has 9.7 workers per pensioner, three times the national average, which has helped it to stash more money in its pension fund than any other province.

Whereas Beijing and Shanghai are attempting, misguidedly, to curb migration, Guangdong is trying to attract new arrivals. It has made it easier for their children to enroll in local schools (elsewhere the household-registration, or hukou, system, raises barriers to this). It also encourages everyone, including migrants, to join local social-insurance schemes. In mid-July, the province’s capital, Guangzhou, said it would allow the children of better-off migrants who rent property the same access to schools as local home-owners. This is significant since almost all migrants rent, not own, their houses.

Unlike in Guangzhou, the national authorities have been slow to recognise the problems of demographic decline. As a result, low fertility, ageing, labour shortages and dependency have all taken on a provincial aspect. The three great cities look relatively healthy, as do Guangdong and Zhejiang, a nearby province that shares some of its features. But provinces with low fertility, declining or ageing populations, and rising dependency are in deep trouble. These include the north-east, Sichuan and Chongqing in the west and several provinces in the third category in terms of fertility, such as Anhui.

The result is a big problem for the national government. Even now, it is having to bail out some provincial pension funds. But the threat is also philosophical. The Communist Party has long sought to narrow economic differences and erase local political distinctions because it is terrified of regional challenges. It thinks the only way to keep China together is to impose strong central control. If it is right, its failure to deal with demographic problems is setting back that cause.

Source: China’s demographic divisions are getting deeper

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08/07/2014

China to prepare for aging society – China – Chinadaily.com.cn

Ten ministerial-level departments, including the ministries of civil affairs and education, on Monday jointly released a circular calling for the country to prepare for the coming aging society.

Old Couple

Old Couple (Photo credit: AdamCohn)

The circular stressed the importance of building an elder-friendly society as the percentage of the senior population is rising quickly.

China’s aging citizens reached 200 million at the end of 2013 and will account for more than 30 percent of the country’s total population by 2042, according to the circular.

Government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should carry out more voluntary services for the elderly and encourage the young generation to be more aware of seniors’ needs and concerns.

The circular also called for accelerating development of industries serving the demands and convenience of the elderly, such as nursing homes and adult education classes, the circular said.

Elderly citizens should not be regarded as burdens but valuable human resources for the sustainable growth of the economy, according to the circular.

The public sector will encourage the elderly to participate in various social activities, such as teaching in schools or helping with scientific research, in order to give them a sense of satisfaction while also promoting social harmony and the economy.

The circular also emphasized establishment of a national elderly care system, strengthening social security for the elderly and improving laws that protect the rights and interests of senior citizens.

via China to prepare for aging society – China – Chinadaily.com.cn.

06/03/2014

* India’s path from poverty to empowerment | McKinsey & Company

India has made encouraging progress by halving its official poverty rate, from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012. This is an achievement to be celebrated—yet it also gives the nation an opportunity to set higher aspirations. While the official poverty line counts only those living in the most abject conditions, even a cursory scan of India’s human-development indicators suggests more widespread deprivation. Above and beyond the goal of eradicating extreme poverty, India can address these issues and create a new national vision for helping more than half a billion people attain a more economically empowered life.

MGI senior fellow Anu Madgavkar and McKinsey director Rajat Gupta discuss India’s prospects for raising living standards and ending extreme poverty.

To realize this vision, policy makers need a more comprehensive benchmark to measure gaps that must be closed and inform the allocation of resources. To this end, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has created the Empowerment Line, an analytical framework that determines the level of consumption required to fulfill eight basic needs—food, energy, housing, drinking water, sanitation, health care, education, and social security—at a level sufficient to achieve a decent standard of living rather than bare subsistence.

In applying this metric to India, we found that in 2012, 56 percent of the population lacked the means to meet essential needs. By this measure, some 680 million Indians experienced deprivation, more than 2.5 times the population of 270 million below the official poverty line. Hundreds of millions have exited extreme poverty but continue to struggle for a modicum of dignity, comfort, and security. The Empowerment Gap, or the additional consumption required to bring these 680 million people to the level of the Empowerment Line, is seven times higher than the cost of eliminating poverty as defined by the official poverty line (exhibit).

via India’s path from poverty to empowerment | McKinsey & Company.

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24/10/2013

Wal-Mart to open up to 110 new China stores by 2016 | Reuters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), the world\’s biggest retailer, is expanding its China business as it seeks to raise profitability in a slowing retail sector.

Wal-Mart Stores Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke attends a news conference in Beijing, October 24, 2013. REUTERS-Kim Kyung-Hoon

Wal-Mart will open up to 110 facilities in China between 2014 and 2016, in addition to the 30 it has already opened this year, it said at a press event in Beijing on Thursday.

Wal-Mart has closed 11 stores and is looking to close 15-30 others over the next 18 months, said Greg Foran, chief executive of Wal-Mart China, in what he called part of a rationalization process.

The U.S. company is tackling tough global economic conditions and a fundamental change in China\’s retail sector, as annual sales growth slows and consumers move towards shopping online.

Wal-Mart wants to profit from China\’s changing retail landscape by embracing e-commerce, which is expected to record 32 percent composite annual growth between 2012 and 2015, according to Bain & Co.

via Wal-Mart to open up to 110 new China stores by 2016 | Reuters.

17/09/2013

House-for-pension stirs Chinese debate on elder care

This post and another on China‘s labour force posted today illustrate how fast China is catching up with developed nations, not always for the better.

China Daily: “For 71-year-old Li Yuzhen, a life taking care of a sick husband and a mentally-disabled son in their two-bedroom apartment in the East China city of Hefei has not been easy.

The family of three nets a monthly income of 3,000 yuan ($487), but spends one third of it on medicine. They barely make ends meet with the rest of the money.

Li said they could not afford a nursing home, and she has to stay at home to look after her son, a man in his 40s but still unmarried due to his condition.

In an effort to explore elder care solutions for China’s rapidly aging society, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, vowed last week to complete a social care network for people over age 60 by 2020, when the age group is expected to reach 243 million. This group’s population had already reached 194 million by the end of 2012, giving China the largest senior population on earth.

One solution proposed is the house-for-pension program.

“The plan allows you to deed your house to an insurance company or bank, which will determine the value of your house and your life expectancy, and then grant you a certain amount every month,” said Meng Xiaosu, former CEO of Happy Life Insurance Co, Ltd.

“You can still live in your house, but the company or the bank has ownership,” Meng said.

The program, while only a suggestion, has drawn widespread concern and met with mixed views.

Zhan Chengfu, director of the division on social welfare and charity of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said the program benefits both the elderly and insurance companies and banks as it can ease elderly care fund shortages, revitalize housing resources and expand the insurance business.

According to a joint study by the Bank of China (BOC) and Deutsche Bank last year, the aging population will leave China with a shortfall of 18.3 trillion yuan in pension funds by 2013 and create a heavy fiscal burden for the country.

Zheng Bingwen, a social security researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, likened China’s pension system to a pyramid with the ground level being the basic pension pool, the middle level being companies’ supplementary pensions, and the top level being individuals’ commercial insurance. But the proportion of the total pension funds to gross domestic output is small compared to other BRICS nations.

“We need different channels to supplement funds shortage, and house-for-pension is likely to be a plausible way for elder care,” Zhang said.

However, the proposal stirred a heated public debate, especially among people whose parents have property and fear losing the inheritance.

via House-for-pension stirs debate on elder care[1]|chinadaily.com.cn.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/political-factors/chinese-tensions/

31/07/2013

China’s New Migrant Workers Want More

BusinessWeek: “The red neon sign over the front door of a new entertainment complex in Beijing’s suburban Daxing district—a local garment manufacturing hub—reads simply “The Skating Rink.” Inside, Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” crackles over loudspeakers, and a strobe light casts red and green pixels of light across a hardwood floor. The young migrant workers who toil in the garment factories nearby typically work on weekends, and have only two or three days off a month. So a crowd begins to form only in the evenings, after overtime shifts end around 9 or 10 p.m.

Twenty-one-year-old He XiaoJie (right) lives in a five-person dorm room within his factory

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the rink has just a handful of early skaters. Among them is a family of five. (Many migrant families manage to disregard China’s one-child policy.) Pudgy 3-year-old Zhefang, wearing a yellow sundress and short pigtails, tugs playfully on the laces of her 5-year-old brother’s skates. Her other brother, who is 9, races full speed around the rink. Juping and Xinfing, the parents, are both 29 and moved here from Jiangxi province seven years ago. Today is one of the precious few days all year that they are together as a family. Because the parents lack a Beijing hukou—or residence permit—they cannot enroll their children in local schools. The two boys now live with their grandparents back in Jiangxi. Xinfing says she “really wants our girl to stay with us” once Zhefang reaches school age, but knows it’s not likely. She scoops up the little girl in her arms and lovingly pats down stray hairs that have shaken loose of her pigtails.

China’s great modern migration from countryside to city began roughly 30 years ago. Starting in the 1980s, new factories in southeastern China began to churn out goods for export and lured workers who could make more on the assembly line than on the farm. In the 1980s and ’90s, most of those who left home were young single people, like the women described in Leslie Chang’s book, Factory Girls. A majority of migrants expected to work for a few years, save money, and eventually return to their hometowns. However, in recent years this pattern has notably shifted. Government planning documents refer to migrants born after 1980 as “new generation migrant workers,” and recent reports from China’s National Bureau of Statistics show how they differ from their predecessors. Just as Juping and Xinfing moved to Beijing as a married couple with a young child in tow, several studies show that a majority of migrant workers now move with at least one other family member.

Beijing’s Daxing district lies outside the Sixth Ring Road, a 90-minute drive from the city center. The local government has made a push to attract garment factories ranging in size from those with a few hundred employees to those with less than a dozen. The workers who come here are mostly in their late teens and twenties. Like previous generations, they have come to start a new life with little savings and a lot of gumption. But they are more tech-savvy, fashion-conscious, and educated than their parents. Most significant, they expect to integrate permanently into city life—putting more urgent pressure on the government to change China’s current system of allocating social services (including schooling and health care) only to those with difficult-to-obtain city residence permits.

In his recent book, China’s Urban Billion, analyst Tom Miller of GK Dragonomics writes, “Surveys show that the majority of the new generation of migrant workers [have] no intention of returning to the penury of rural life.” In explaining the attitudinal shift, he notes: “They are significantly better educated than their parents, and usually adapt far more quickly to urban ways. They hope to become fully fledged urban citizens and enjoy a modern consumer lifestyle.””

via China’s New Migrant Workers Want More – Businessweek.

21/07/2013

How poverty wages for tea pickers fuel India’s trade in child slavery

The Observer: “When the trafficker came knocking on the door of Elaina Kujar’s hut on a tea plantation at the north-eastern end of Assam, she had just got back from school. Elaina was 14 and wanted to be a nurse. Instead, she was about to lose four years of her life as a child slave.

Saphira Khatun, whose daughter Minu Begum was trafficked to Delhi at the age of 12

She sits on a low chair inside the hut, playing with her long dark hair as she recalls how her owner would sit next to her watching porn in the living room of his Delhi house, while she waited to sleep on the floor. “Then he raped me,” she says, looking down at her hands, then out of the door. Outside, the monsoon rain is falling on the tin roof and against the mud-rendered bamboo strip walls, on which her parents have pinned a church calendar bearing the slogan The Lord is Good to All.

Elaina was in that Delhi house for one reason: her parents, who picked the world-famous Assam tea on an estate in Lakhimpur district, were paid so little they could not afford to keep her. There are thousands like her, taken to Delhi from the tea plantations in the north-east Indian state by a trafficker, sold to an agent for as little as £45, sold on again to an employer for up to £650, then kept as slaves, raped, abused. It is a 21st-century slave trade. There are thought to be 100,000 girls as young as 12 under lock and key in Delhi alone: others are sold on to the Middle East and some are even thought to have reached the UK.

Every tea plantation pays the same wages. Every leaf of every box of Assam tea sold by Tetley and Lipton and Twinings and the supermarket own brands – Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and the rest – is picked by workers who earn a basic 12p an hour.

If it says Fairtrade on the box, or certified by the Rainforest Alliance or the Ethical Tea Partnership, it makes no difference: the worker received the same basic cash payment – 89 rupees (£1) a day, a little over half the legal wage for an unskilled worker in Assam of 158.54 rupees. To place that in context, a worker receives about 2p in cash for picking enough tea to fill a box of 80 tea bags, which then sells for upwards of £2 in the UK. The companies say they know the wages are low, and they are trying to make things better, but their hands are tied by the growers. The growers, who set the wages by collective bargaining, say it is all they can afford.

But there is a price for keeping wages so low, and it is paid by the workers who cannot afford to keep their daughters. When the traffickers come knocking, offering to take the girls away, promising good wages and an exciting new life, they find it hard to say no. “He said he would change our lives,” says Elaina, now 20. “The tea garden was closed when he came and my parents were not working, so my father wanted to send me.”

The trafficker had promised excitement and glamour: instead she started work every day at 4am and worked until midnight, and though he promised to give her 1,500 rupees a month, she was never paid. He kept her as a prisoner, unable to leave the house or contact her family.

“His wife was suspicious about what was happening. I told her he had raped me but he denied it and told me to shut up my mouth,” she says. “After that, I was always crying, but he kept me locked in the house. I was afraid. I had no money and he threatened that I would end up in a brothel.”

She was saved only when he sent her to a new owner who, on learning her story, sent her home.”

via How poverty wages for tea pickers fuel India’s trade in child slavery | World news | The Observer.

20/01/2013

* China’s workforce peak demographics

Well reasoned analysis that goes behind and beyond headline figures – as expected from the EIU.

EIU: “China’s working age population is set to peak in 2013, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit‘s latest demographic projections. However the impact of this milestone on the country’s economy will be different from the experience of other, predominantly rich countries that have already undergone the process. While ageing, the country’s urban workforce will continue to grow. It will also become much better educated.

China Ageing Population

In the developed world, ageing is most commonly associated with shrinking workforces relative to the rest of the population, giving rise to pension cuts, postponed retirement and higher taxes on the young. As an economy still in transition, China need not fret about such issues. For a start, China’s state pension system is far from generous and its coverage low. Rather, the country’s biggest fear is that of worsening labour shortages—a phenomenon that was first reported in the mid–2000s and was subsequently the subject of much attention in the national media. There are two good reasons why these fears are overblown.

Rural fuel

First, China is still in the midst of a massive urbanisation drive. When the working-age populations of Germany and Japan, the world’s largest ageing economies, began to shrink in 1999 and 1995 respectively, the process of massive rural-to-urban migration had already matured. The proportion of the population residing in urban areas, or the urbanisation rate, had more or less stabilised at 73% and 65% respectively.

In contrast, China’s urbanisation rate will only reach 55% this year and is likely to continue rising by around one percentage point (or 13m people) every year, according to our projections. China will only reach Japan’s level of urbanisation by 2022 and Germany’s by 2030. Thus, even though China’s working-age population will shrink overall, the urban working-age population will only peak in 2029 after reaching 695m—135m higher than it was in 2012.

The flip side of this trend is a shrinking rural population. However, China’s rural population has been diminishing for three decades without much adverse impact on agricultural output. That is because its countryside is overpopulated: there are too many farmers working too little land. Indeed, China has even managed to boost agricultural output over the years by investing in machinery and technology.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how many more workers the agricultural sector can afford to lose before a large impact on farm output is felt. However, most economists agree that another 100m or so is achievable. Coupled with the fact that the primary sector only accounts for 10% of GDP, it becomes clear that, when it comes to maintaining economic growth, the urban workforce is really the only one that matters.

From factories to classrooms

Second, China’s labour shortages have largely been misdiagnosed. Much ink has been spilt attributing the lack of young workers for unfilled factory vacancies to demographic factors. Yet the number of Chinese aged 16–24 increased from 196m to 210m between 2000 and 2010. The rise in urban areas is even greater. Where, then, did all the young workers go? The answer is simple: they went to school.

The proportion of junior secondary school graduates continuing on to senior secondary school surged from 51% to 88% between 2000 and 2010. At the same time, the proportion of Chinese aged 16–19 that were either employed or seeking employment (the labour participation rate) fell from 57% to 34%. The relationship is clear: rising enrolment rates at schools have played a major role in postponing entry to the workforce.

The surge in school enrolment implies that the supply of young workers entering the job market will not only remain stable as China passes its demographic turning point, but might even grow. Enrolment rates cannot rise forever, and all the would–be teenage workers that were absorbed by the schooling system over the past decade will enter the workforce sooner or later.

As China’s youth becomes better educated, the coming decade will witness the emergence of a two-tiered workforce. One tier will consist of graduates looking for office jobs. The other will remain the country’s “traditional” source of labour: relatively low–skilled rural migrants seeking work in factories and construction yards. The latter group will, however, have aged substantially, creating new challenges for managers and HR departments across the country.

China’s workforce challenge is thus twofold: policymakers need to ensure that there are enough white-collar jobs for graduates, while employers of low-skilled workers will need to come to grips with hiring and managing an older workforce. Failure to do so will have serious consequences. An educated class disillusioned by high unemployment is something China can ill afford at a time of rising social tensions. At the same time, an inability to replace young workers with older ones could spell the end of the golden age of China’s mighty manufacturing sector.

Yet, if the demographic transition is managed successfully, there will be just cause to celebrate. The Chinese economic miracle has pulled more than 200m people out of poverty over the past 30 years. In the last ten, it has allowed 60m children who would otherwise never have finished secondary school to do so. The next task will be to ensure that their studies have not been in vain.”

via Peak demographics.

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