IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Family Dynamics of 63 Million (in 1990) to More Than 330 Million (in 2050) Elders in China


  • Yi Zeng

    (Duke University)

  • Linda George

    (Duke University)


Based on censuses micro data files, population and family households projections, this paper analyses extremely rapid population aging, family dynamics and living arrangements of the elderly in China. Both our and the U.N.’s most recent projections confirm very rapid increase in proportion of elderly, huge numbers of elderly persons, an extraordinarily rapid increase of the oldest old after 2020, and more serious aging problems in rural than urban areas. Comparative data analysis on family dynamics and living arrangements of the elderly, males vs. females, younger elders vs. oldest old, rural vs. urban, and 1982 vs. 1990 are presented. According to an application to the multidimensional family household projection model, the family households structure and living arrangements of the Chinese elderly would change dramatically during the first half of the 21th century. In addition to demographic data analysis, we also discuss socio-economic and cultural contexts to explain the issues of rapid aging and changes in family structure and living arrangements of the elderly in China. Drawing upon our empirical findings, we presented policy recommendations on strengthening family support system, establishing an old age insurance program in rural areas, favourable policy for elderly women in consideration of their disadvantaged status, and smoothly transiting to a two-child plus spacing policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Yi Zeng & Linda George, 2000. "Family Dynamics of 63 Million (in 1990) to More Than 330 Million (in 2050) Elders in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 2(5), May.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:2:y:2000:i:5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Liang, Jersey & Jow-Ching Tu, Edward & Chen, Xiangming, 1986. "Population aging in the People's Republic of China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 23(12), pages 1353-1362, January.
    2. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1986_41n3_0609 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Freedman, V.A., 1996. "Family Structure and the Risk of Nursing Home Admission," Papers 96-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Qiulin Chen & Karen Eggleston & Ling Li, 2012. "Demographic change, intergenerational transfers, and the challenges for social protection systems in the People’s Republic of China," Chapters,in: Aging, Economic Growth, and Old-Age Security in Asia, chapter 6, pages 161-202 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    aging; China; elderly; family dynamics; living arrangements;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:2:y:2000:i:5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.