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Schermafdruk 2016 06 02 19.08.32A myriad of factors have contributed to a rise in need for elderly care services in China. The Middle Kingdom’s gender imbalance, low birth rate and average increase in life expectancy, combined with a series of family planning regulations, have created a rapidly aging population. Data provided by the National Statistics Bureau show that China’s over 60 population – the age at which it classifies an elderly person – reached 222 million in 2015, accounting for 16.1 percent of the overall population. This rate is now predicted to grow by three percent year on year, resulting in the proportion of elderly citizens exceeding that of those aged 14 and under by 2030, and one in three people in China being aged over 65 by 2050.

These projections have been further exacerbated by China’s now recently abolished one-child policy, which created what is referred to as the “4: 2: 1” problem and heaped pressure on the country’s traditional family-centric model of elderly care. The 4: 2: 1 problem is a common occurrence in China wherein four grandparents and two parents are cared for by a single person, or eight grandparents and four parents are cared for by a couple. Maintaining care only within the family is especially unfeasible for China’s urbanizing citizens, who on average leave 50 percent of their family in the rural areas that they move from.

Largely as a result of this situation, China’s attitude towards elderly care services is changing . . . . read more

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