Chinese population challenges : fewer girls, more old people ?

Population and Societies

416, October 2005

Though the population of China has almost doubled since the 1960s and now exceeds 1.3 billion, it is no longer perceived as a threat. China has undergone profound demographic upheaval over the last forty years and its turbulent history is reflected in a population pyramid that illustrates the new challenges facing the country: the prospect of an ageing population and a shortage of young girls.

  • A rapid slowdown in population growth
  • The proportion of over-65s should double in the next 25 years
  • More boys than girls
  • From the threat of growth… to the problem of ageing

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