Demographic development in China – additional information
Life expectancy at birth refers to the average number of years a group of people born in the same year would live, assuming constant mortality rates. The country with the highest life expectancy at birth was Japan, while China had reached a life expectancy above global average. People who were born in Japan in 2009 had a life expectancy of approximately 82.9 years on average.
Whereas average life expectancy at birth has been growing steadily, birth rates in China have been experiencing a slowdown. In 2012, less than 12 babies had been born per 1,000 women in China. As a result of low fertility rates and the extended life expectancy in China, share of elderly people had been rising rapidly. The number of Chinese population aged 60 and older had more than doubled over the past three decades and is projected to reach its peak at 454.36 million in 2050. People aged 65 and older have been estimated to account for approximately one fourth of China’s total population, indicating a sharp climb from just above eight percent in 2010. In order to pinpoint this massive shift in the age pyramid of China, an important indicator for measuring the pressure of aging population on productive population may be consulted. The old-age dependency ratio in China was expected to reach 39 percent in 2050.