Author: Adam Gwiazda
Institution: Uniwersytet Kazimierza Wielkiego w Bydgoszczy
Year of publication: 2012
Source: Show
Pages: 60-84
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ap201203
PDF: ap/15/ap1503.pdf

Distortions in the demographic structures of China and Japan

Japan is the first country in Asia where the economic growth and increase in welfare have brought about a demographic collapse. In 1997 there was a sudden decline in birth-rate and since that time the population of thecountry has been decreasing steadily. At the same time the number of elderly people(about 65 years old) has been increasing and the number of people in the production age (between 15 and 64 years old) has been declining. In 2010 there were 127 million Japanese out of which one third was 60 years old. This is a highly unfavourable demographic structure and Japan may face a shortage of labor force in two decades. Similar trends have occurred in China, mostly due to the one-child policy introduced at the end of the 1970s. One of its most visible effects is the masculinization of Chinese population. In 2009 there were more than 119 men for 100 women (in some provinces even 134). The birth rate, rigidly controlled by the government, also resulted in an accelerated ageing of Chinese population. In 2010 there were 167 million people in China over 60 and in 2030 there will be almost 20 per cent of total population. In order to avoid labor force shortage China has to change its production structure and develop rather capital- than labor-intensive branches of industry and services.

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