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Erschienen in: Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 1/2018

13.06.2016 | Original Contribution

Super-aging and social security for the most elderly in China

verfasst von: Prof. Dr. Tao Liu

Erschienen in: Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie | Ausgabe 1/2018

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Abstract

This article is dedicated to an under-researched area, the demographic development and social welfare for the most elderly (aged ≥80 years) in The People’s Republic of China. Based on national censuses conducted over the last six decades in China this study examined the development of the most elderly population in comparison with groups of younger elderly people. It is argued that population growth among the most elderly in China has occurred with unparalleled speed, a phenomenon referred to as second order aging. This study demonstrated that the proportion of individuals aged ≥80 years has increased more rapidly than any other age group among elderly people. Particular attention has been given to the issue of social security and social welfare for the most elderly based on the non-contributory old age allowances provided by various regions and provinces. A national unified program of social security for the most elderly in the population is still not in sight.
Fußnoten
1
For the development of the most elderly in Germany see [2, 3, 12].
 
2
It is worth mentioning that the data quality of population censuses in the 1950 s and 1960 s in China may be questionable due to the absence of modern statistical methods and rational management. Furthermore, since the adoption of the reform and open door policy, the large floating population and internal migration in China have made the calculation of accurate population statistics more difficult than ever before; however, the population census remains the primary official data source for population size, population structure and the demographic transition in The People’s Republic of China.
 
3
Even according to the most recent population census (2010), the most elderly female population (aged ≥80 years) still outnumbers the male population in the same age group; however, the gap between both groups has significantly narrowed over the last six decades. In 1953 the most elderly female population was twice as numerous as the most elderly male population (1,261,538 female and 593,171 male) and by 2010 the most elderly female population outnumbered the male group by only 40 % (12,214,594 female and 8,774,752 male).
 
4
Different local regions represent economically distinct development zones in China. While Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu have the highest levels of industrialization and living standards and thus represent the ‘first world’ of China, the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Henan and Anhui have a moderate development level and capacity and they represent the ‘second world’ of China. The provinces and autonomous regions of Northwest China and Southwest China, including Inner Mongolia and Sichuan, are economic latecomers compared to most coastal provinces and they constitute the ‘third world’ of China. While metropolises, such as Beijing and Shanghai in the coastal regions are extremely densely populated, peripheral regions, such as Inner Mongolia and parts of Western Sichuan where national minorities live, are sparsely populated.
 
5
According to data from various local social agencies, the rapid growth of the most elderly has become prevalent in China. For instance, the proportion of the population aged ≥80 years in Beijing increased from 0.63 to 1.7 % between 1982 and 2010 and is expected to rise to 2.3 % by 2020. The metropolis of Shanghai is exposed to probably the most serious super-aging in the People’s Republic. The proportion of the population aged ≥80 years in Shanghai crossed the threshold of 5 % in 2014. Even in Sichuan Province, the population aged ≥80 years has increased annually by 5.1 % since 1990. In Hunan Province, the population aged ≥80 years has increased annually by more than 6 % between 2004 and 2014.
 
6
In modern Mandarin, the most elderly are referred to as gaoling.
 
7
Since 1999 an urban minimum income security system has been initiated at the national level in China, which targets the entire urban population and relies on means testing. This program originally stemmed from a pilot project in Shanghai that was created in 1993. In 2007 the urban minimum income security system was completely transferred to rural areas and since then, besides the urban MLSS scheme, a separate rural MLSS scheme has been created [9].
 
8
At the current exchange rate, 1 Euro equals 7.049 Yuan.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Super-aging and social security for the most elderly in China
verfasst von
Prof. Dr. Tao Liu
Publikationsdatum
13.06.2016
Verlag
Springer Medizin
Erschienen in
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie / Ausgabe 1/2018
Print ISSN: 0948-6704
Elektronische ISSN: 1435-1269
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-016-1062-9

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