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China's elderly population to represent 30% of total in 30 years

From : Xinhua

BEIJING, Agu. 25, 2011 -- China's aging citizens will account for more than 30 percent of the country's total population by 2042, according to a legislature report.

Li Jianguo, vice chairman and general secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remark on Wednesday in his report on the implementation of the law on protection of senior citizens' rights.

Li submitted the report to the NPC Standing Committee, the country's top legislature.

Official statistics show that China now has more than 178 million people at or above the age of 60, or more than 13 percent of its total population.

Li said that China entered the society of grey hairs in 1999, when the country was still industrializing and urbanizing.

As families become smaller and more young people leave their hometown for job opportunities in the city, it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to take care of their elder members.

By 2030, there will be an average of 2.5 people of working age for every senior citizen living in China, according to Li. The ratio stood at five to one last year.

Li's report suggested ways to tackle the problem, such as establishing a national elderly care system, strengthening social security for the elderly and improving laws that protect the rights and interests of senior citizens.