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Beijing Faces Aging Population Problem

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Beijing will face the challenge of an aging population over the coming five years and the city has limited experience in dealing with the phenomenon, the Beijing Morning Post reported Saturday.

At the end of 2009, registered senior citizens in Beijing numbered 2.27 million, or 18.2 percent of the city's total population of permanent residents, the report said, citing the local government.

The city will have a moderately aged society when its aged population reaches 3.24 million in 2015, the report said.

Of the city's population of registered senior citizens, 1.94 million, or 85.6 percent, are below the age of 80 years, and 326,000, or 14.4 percent, are above the age of 80 years.

In the coming five years, approximately 470,000 senior citizens in Beijing will require nursing.

A survey conducted recently by the society and legal system committee of the municipal political consultative conference found that of 4,000-plus respondents, 24.5 percent intended to live in homes for the aged, a level much higher than the 4-percent level the municipal government expected.

Some 53.3 percent of respondents said they are willing to spend their twilight years at home. That figure was significantly lower than the 90 percent figure the local government had expected.

According to the survey, 99 percent of local citizens born after 1980 said they would not be able to look after their parents during their old age.

(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2010)