Excellent article today on the greying of China.
“Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Jan. 9 issue: The latest government census shows 178 million Chinese were over 60 in 2009. That figure could reach 437 million — one third of the population — by 2050, the United Nations forecasts. While the elderly were looked after in the past by their children, urbanization and the nation’s one-child policy have eroded the tradition of family care.
“It’s a demographic tsunami,” says Joseph J. Christian, a fellow at the Asia Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, and former DLA Piper partner in Hong Kong, who specializes in senior housing issues in China. “The whole multigenerational housing model has disappeared.”
China’s challenge is similar to that faced by Japan in the 1990s, with one essential difference: China will grow old before it gets rich….
Read the whole article here.
The aging population and its fiscal drag (as with the Baby Boomers in the western world) presents significant risks to those still banking that Chinese led growth will continue to feed the world with insaitable demand for commodities and things like west coast real estate in North America.