RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—Chinese society is aging at an unprecedented rate. In 25 years, 14 percent of China’s population will be 65 and older, up from 7 percent in 2002. This transition took 115 years for France, 45 years for England, and 69 years for the United States. This rapidly aging population calls for an urgent need for the development of a working system of elder care services and supports.
A new book, published by The World Bank and co-edited by RTI International’s Zhanlian Feng, aims to provide a clear and up-to-date understanding of the evolving aged care landscape in China, assess current and long-term developments and trends for the future of aged care, and propose policy options based on available evidence and best practices. Aging, disability, and long-term care experts at the global research institute also contributed three chapters to the book.
“Options for Aged Care in China: Building An Efficient and Sustainable Aged Care System” deals with and seeks to inform policy makers and other interested individuals about critical policy issues and options for developing aged care services in China. The book draws heavily on long-term care experiences from the USA and other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
“China faces a grave challenge in developing elderly care services,” said Feng, PhD, a senior research analyst at RTI. “Changes in family structure, socioeconomic development, and migration have eroded the availability of informal care for the elderly. It is imperative to develop formal elderly care services to meet the increasing needs that can no longer be met by families alone.”
As global birth rates continue to decrease and life expectancy increases, aging is a challenge many countries are facing or will soon face in the coming decades. China’s experience in developing appropriate policy responses to meet the aging challenge can serve as a useful framework for other developing countries where research and policy around this subject matter remain limited.
The World Bank led and funded this book and commissioned RTI to provide subject matter expertise and consulting services.