BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) — Topic:
Xinhua News Agency reporter Zou Duowei
At the economic summit of the China High-level Development Forum (CDF) in 2021, two separate units, “fewer children” and “silver economy”, formed a special “dialogue” :
When “aging” meets “fewer children”, how to solve the inevitable dilemma of “one old and one young” in China’s future social development is undoubtedly a hot topic of concern.
China’s total fertility rate has long been below the natural replacement level, which poses grave challenges to economic and social development, especially the population structure.” Wang Jiexiu, director of the Policy Research Center of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, opened his speech by addressing the current issues.
At the same time, a set of figures not only reflect the characteristics of China’s population change, but also confirm the pain points of “population issues” in China’s future development.
China’s total fertility rate has dropped to 1.49 in 2020, breaking the internationally recognized warning line of 1.5, according to data. The number of newborns born in the same year and registered with household registration totaled 10.35 million, which had declined for five consecutive years.
Coincidentally, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that in 2019, the proportion of China’s population aged 65 and above increased to 12.6%, and that of the population aged 0-15 to 17.8%, indicating that the aging of the population continues to deepen. It is estimated that in the 14th Five-Year Plan, China will enter a moderately aging society, and the elderly population over 60 years old will exceed 300 million.
One side is “not born”, the other side is “old”, can this trend be reversed?
Open the “fourteen five” planning outline, “the implementation of the active response to the aging of the population of the national strategy” a single chapter highlights the attention of the country to this problem. China will focus on improving its population service system and promoting long-term balanced development of the population, according to a series of deployments.
“In the foreseeable future, the basic situation of a large population and the fundamental situation of fewer children, longer lives and an aging population will not be fundamentally changed.” Yuan Xin, a professor at the Institute of Population and Development of Nankai University, believes that in the face of the unchangeable reality of “three modernizations coexisting”, the key is to constantly recognize new population opportunities and develop the second demographic dividend.
Population change is a slow and long-term variable, and it is difficult to make an immediate impact. We can only deepen our understanding on the basis of adapting to the current situation, learn from the experience of other countries, and innovate policies and measures.
As a worldwide common phenomenon, Japan and European and American countries are also “care-ridden” about the “aging of young children”. Take Japan as an example. It is not only the birthplace of the term “fewer children”, but also the first country in the world to enter an aging society.
“Since its peak in 2005, Japan’s population has continued to decline.”
Sasai, a senior research fellow at the National Institute of Social Security and Population Studies, said the government has taken a number of measures to encourage childbirth, including tax breaks for families giving birth, maternity subsidies and paid maternity leave.
Stepping into the new journey of building a socialist modern country in an all-round way, is China’s “demographic dividend era” over? How should the new demographic dividend be mined?
“There are opportunities and challenges.” According to Yuan Xin, although the dividend of China’s labor resources is decreasing, it is still huge, and with the improvement of education, the quality of the labor force has been greatly improved. In addition, the state proposes to delay retirement. If men and women finally retire at the same age, the gender dividend released will turn some young and elderly population into older labor force, and the labor resources will be increased and supplemented.
The Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan clearly proposes to “unimpeding the great domestic cycle” and “promoting both domestic and international cycles”.
“Fourteenth Five”, our country put forward the average life expectancy to increase the goal of 1 year.
“Longevity society calls for longevity economy.” Taikang Insurance Group Chairman and CEO Chen Dongsheng said that compared with the past, the new era of the elderly in quality, intelligence, energy and financial resources and other aspects have changed, in medical treatment, health care, health care and other aspects of consumption will be strong, “silver economy” market space is huge, the elderly consumption potential in the future is huge.