China Battles 'Demographic Tsunami'

- 2012-01-06T15:26:12Z

Photograph by Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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China's challenge

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. With tens of millions of parents left to fend for themselves, the government set up a National Committee on Aging to try to devise a comprehensive strategy (CHGE7) to ensure their health and comfort.

Left, an elderly woman looks out from behind the gates of a retirement home on the outskirts of Shanghai. China has about 38,000 institutions serving the elderly with 2.7 million beds, enough for about 1.6 percent of the population over 60, according to the World Bank.