China will get old before it gets rich – Precipitous decline in ratio of working-age people to total populationPosted by Jim at Friday, November 29, 2013
By Quoctrung Bui
15 November 2013
(NPR) – China's decision to (further) relax its infamous one-child policy is, as much as anything, an economic decision.
China put the one-child policy in place decades ago, when the country feared a destabilizing population boom. It benefited in the short run — the country slowed its population growth and got a boost to growth since it didn't have as many children to support. Today, China faces a different problem: a precipitous decline in the ratio of working-age people to total population.
This is bad news for the economy as a whole — working-age people are the engine of any economy — and it's especially worrisome for a generation of elderly who don't have big families to support them. [more]