Thanks to its disastrous and draconian one-child policy, China is set to have an “irreversible” ageing society in the 21st Century but the country seems to have devised a broad-based plan to address economic and social pressures from the ageing population. A national program to be implemented in the 11th Five-Year Plan period and approved by the State Council will boost its social welfare programs, medical subsidies, and launch a special “Silver Age Action” program that will facilitate educated retired population to help development of under-developed west. Beijing has also passed a law to protect the interests and rights of the elderly, along with a number of local regulations mandating support, medical care and general well-being services for senior citizens. Thanks for medical advancement, average life expectancy of the Chinese population reached 71.4 years old in 2000, 2.85 years longer than that in 1990.
The China National Committee on Aging (CNCA) said that while medical and social subsidies have been increased, the demand has not decreased due to increasing silver-age population. China is expected to have 174 million older population or 12.78% of total population by 2010, 243 million or 17% by 2020, and 437 million or 33% in 2051 from the current 145 million or 11%. About 85.57 million old people in rural areas, 65.82 per cent of the country's total, do not benefit from the social welfare system, pensions and lack adequate medical care. China will have over 100 million people who are above 80 by 2030.