Guest Features Research Papers
Author: Tianyi Zhang (University of Chicago)
Home to over 1.4 billion residents, China has been the world’s most populous country for centuries. While population growth had been largely natural in China’s long history, population policies and controls had become an integral part of Chinese policymaking since the late 19th century. After the Communist Party overtook the regime in 1949, population policies became even more pivotal, if volatile and willful at times. In this essay, I will first show that there is indeed a significant population aging crisis brewing within China, which could mark a fundamental metamorphosis that decimates China’s population dividend. I will further state that this belated policy turnaround is already highly unlikely to prepare the Chinese population for the looming population aging crisis, nor is it a promising idea to play this population catch-up game, because it will incur an even heavier burden for the working age population in the next decade. And finally, I will propose alternate solutions to the looming population crisis that look beyond simply boosting birth rates, in the form of a fairer redistribution system and pension system reform that alleviates anxieties and burdens of the working class as well as elderly population.
Keywords: Demographic Crisis, Long-Run Growth, China
How to Cite: Zhang, T. (2022) “Silver Lining in Looming Storm: Examining China’s Population Aging Crisis, Expansionary Population Policy, and Alternate Solutions”, UCL Journal of Economics. 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2755-0877.1399None