If projections by the Brookings Institution (see chart) are accurate, we are now beginning to see a dramatic divergence in the growth rates of these two demographics. China's working-age population is declining while the ranks of China's elderly are beginning to swell at an unprecedented clip.
As many demographers have pointed out, the economic reality underlying this demographic shift is that "China is growing old before it grows rich."
China today may be the world's largest purchaser of luxury goods, and stories abound in global financial circles of China's new millionaires and even multi-millionaires. However, in the decades ahead an increasing percentage of China's newfound wealth will go toward meeting the needs of its older population.
For the impact caring for the elderly has on some of China's pastors, read "Caring for Elderly Parents" on Chinese Church Voices.
Brent Fulton is the founder of ChinaSource. Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of China Ministries International, and from 1985 to... View Full Bio