Monday, May 02, 2011

Now this is what I call a census

The UK has just had, what is likely to be its last census. China is beginning to publish the findings of its census of its 1.34 billion population. Now that is what I call a census.

I have taken these figiures from the Economist blog. Sorry it is subcription only.

The average annual population growth from 2001-10 was 0.57%, just over half the rate from 1991-2000.

The numbers imply that China’s work force will in a few years start declining, and the “dependency” ratio—the proportion of the population made up of the young and elderly—will start to climb. Already, the proportion of people aged over 60 has increased from 10.4% in 2000 to 13.3% now. Those under 16 now make up 16.6% of the total, down from 23% in 2000.

The stresses in China are immense. An ageing population – a population moving from rural to urban areas and one that is demanding the consumer goodies that we in the West take for granted. An of course it is sitting on a mountain of US dollars.

Undoubtedly, China and the rest of AsiaPac is where the action is going to be but I don’t think it is going to be a smooth ride. Dick Stroud

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