Apr 072011

China’s one-child policy portends a shrinking work force, yet China will grow old before it grows rich. Here’s the relevant material from today’s New York Times:

China’s rise has depended partly on a huge spurt in the number of workers as a percentage of the population. This surge has created a cheap, productive labor force for its factories, mines and construction crews.  Now the size of the work force is leveling off. Demographers say it will begin to shrink within just five years, albeit slowly at first. Meanwhile, the ranks of the elderly are swelling so fast that by 2040, projections show that the median age of Chinese will be higher than that of Americans, but Chinese will enjoy just one-third of the per capita income,

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