• Growth Challenges

    未富先老 Getting Old Before Getting Rich – China is not alone

    The notion of ‘Getting old before getting rich’ in a China context refers to the combination of incomplete industrialisation, and millions of citizens still in poverty, arising when a relatively high proportion – nearly 10% of persons – are aged over 65. The latter places them forever outside of the formal workforce, lowering the proportion of available productive formal workers while also straining the fiscal envelope. In China’s case, the median age of the population is now 34 years old. By 2050 half of the population will be over 50, assuming a fertility rate of 1.6. An ‘ageing’ population is commonly defined by such measures as the ratio of elderly…