The WSJ had a frightening article about the scope of the ageing problem faced by the Chinese.
I will not bother to give your the URL since I am almost certain it is subscription only.
The survey of living conditions for China’s 185 million elderly paints a bleak picture – of the generation that built China’s economic boom, 22.9%—or 42.4 million—live in poverty with consumption of less than $522 a year.
The fear of being old and poor has prompted many Chinese to stash away their earnings that has a direct impact on consumption and hence economic growth.
The survey, led by Chinese and international academics, covered 17,708 individuals across 28 of China’s 31 provinces and was partly funded by the Chinese government through a science foundation. While careful to credit the government with progress on expanding pension and health-care coverage, it also showed that physical disability and mental-health problems are widespread.
Of those surveyed, 38.1% reported difficulty with daily activities and 40% showed high symptoms of depression.
The magnitude of these issue makes the problems faced in Europe and the US insignificant. Sorting out these issues will become a high priority for the Chinese Government and that means there should be a lot of business opportunities for Western companies.
You can read some more comments about this research on Kim Walker’s blog.