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Ningbo faces aging issues

Ningbo had 1,187,000 residents aged 60 or above by the end of 2013, accounting for 20.5 percent of the total population, according to a recent report released by the Municipal Office on Aging Issues. The figure includes 491,000 residents aged 70 or above, 181,000 aged 80 or above, 18,000 aged 90 or above, and 181 aged 100 years old. According to a UN definition, a city that has an old population over 20 percent is defined as an 'Aged society'.

Statistics reveal three characteristics show up in the city as the aging population continued to grow in 2013:

First, the population is aging at a much higher speed. In 2013, those aged 60 or older increased by 64,000 than the previous year, up 5.66 percent. The growth rate, for the first time exceeding 5 percent, is 20.5 times faster than the total population growth rate


Second, both the number of residents aged 80 or above and the number of empty nesters are on the rise. The city has 18.1 million senior citizens aged 80 and above, accounting for 15.3 percent of the total elderly population, an increase of 1.4 million or 8 percent over the previous year. A total of 451,000 elderly households are "empty nest families", or families living apart from their offspring, an increase of 8 percent in contrast to 34,000 in the previous year.

Third, the city's rural population is aging faster than urban population. The city has 800,000 senior citizens in rural areas, taking up over two thirds of the city's total elderly population and 22 percent of the city's total rural population, four percentage points higher than the proportion of urban elderly population.

The elderly population will continue to grow in the future and is expected to hit 1.6 million, about a quarter of the total population by 2020, experts said.

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