Who Will Care for the Elderly in China? A Review of the Problems Caused by China's One Child Policy and Their Potential Solutions

Yuanting Zhang, Bowling Green State University
Franklin Goza, Bowling Green State University

China's one child per couple policy has been controversial since its implementation. Scholars have examined this policy from multiple angles and most agree that one unavoidable consequence of the one child policy will be the aging of China's population. Because the increasing proportion of elderly among the Chinese population will have profound social and economic implications, the development of appropriate policies and measures is required. To help with the development of such policy, qualitative data recently collected from elderly individuals representing various segments of Chinese society are presented. These interviews help personalize the consequences of China's demographic shifts and also suggest possible solutions for lessening their effects. To help contextualize these demographic transformations, China's past, present and likely future demographic situations are discussed, as are several relevant theories on aging. The paper concludes by presenting and discussing possible resolutions specific to the elderly in urban areas and the countryside.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Aging