China's elderly will overwhelm the nation
The one-child rule imposed 30 years ago has created too few young people to support the quickly expanding aging population.
By David Pierson
July 6, 2009
Reporting from Shanghai -- For three decades China's one-child policy helped power this nation's economic rise. With fewer mouths to feed, families saved. Poverty fell. Living standards improved.
But a social experiment that worked well in some respects is now threatening the country's hard-won gains. China's working-age population -- the engine behind its prolific growth -- will start shrinking within a few years.
Meanwhile, the ranks of elderly are projected to soar. By the middle of this century, fully a third of China's population will be age 60 or older, compared with 26% in the United States. China's projected 438 million senior citizens will outnumber the entire U.S. population. the rest