Population Ageing

The old-age crisis facing China

An old woman with her grandson in Beijing. No nation is ageing as quickly as China. Photo: Simon Song

A country's population is its fate, 19th century philosopher Auguste Comte observed. He was referring to his post-revolutionary France, but he could well have been offering sage advice to Chinese authorities. By focusing on the economy, they have transformed the nation, pulling hundreds of millions out of poverty and creating spectacular growth and wealth. All that could be in danger, though, unless greater attention is paid to its fast-rising numbers of old people.

Sunday, 9 June, 2013, 2:40am 1 comment

Child sex attacks and treatment of elderly shame China

Photo: AP

China has long prided itself on showing respect for the old and caring for the young. But news of a spate of child molestation cases and a landmark report revealing the problems of the growing elderly population should make mainlanders feel truly ashamed and prompt deep soul-searching.

3 Jun 2013 - 10:04am

Fosun to boost housing projects for the elderly

The rapid increase in the number of elderly people on the mainland is seen by conglomerate Fosun International as offering potential for the housing market. Photo: Reuters

Fortress has partnered Fosun to operate joint venture Shanghai Starcastle Living Services, which already has a housing project for the elderly in the city.

23 May 2013 - 3:51am

Letters to the Editor, May 6, 2013

A tree thought to have brown root rot. Photo: Nora Tam

Your detailed coverage of the plight of Hong Kong's urban and rural trees highlights the need for urgent action if we are to save at least some of our natural heritage.

6 May 2013 - 2:55am 5 comments

Playing videogames can help improve brain functions, study says

Road Tour helped test subjects improve their brain functions

The University of Iowa study of hundreds of people aged 50 and older found that those who played a videogame were able to improve a range of cognitive skills, and reverse up to seven years of age-related declines.

3 May 2013 - 2:44am

Hong Kong must act to reap longevity dividend

Hong Kong must act to reap longevity dividend

Population ageing is happening in all regions and in countries at various development levels. However, it is occurring fastest in developing countries, which are the least well prepared for the changes.

11 Apr 2013 - 3:04am

Immigration surge is no solution to population ageing

Immigration surge is no solution to population ageing

The inter-relationships of population, economic growth and quality of life have aroused intense debate as cities compete with each other to become mega cities. But this rush is taking place at a time when societies are not ready for it.

30 Mar 2013 - 3:30am 7 comments

Let young single Singaporeans buy state-built homes, says billionaire

Billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi, who became a Singapore citizen last year, is urging his adopted nation to end a ban on young unmarried people owning state-built homes because it hurts one of the city's key goals: making babies.

28 Mar 2013 - 2:57am

Increasing childcare subsidies could help future generations excel

Increasing childcare subsidies could help future generations excel

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah warned in his budget speech about the challenges Hong Kong faces because of a shrinking labour force and an ageing population. Officials say this pattern will produce an unsustainable economic burden on those of working age. If so, this is a threat to our social development.

13 Mar 2013 - 3:00am 2 comments

Hong Kong looks abroad to tackle burden of ageing society

Hong Kong is looking overseas for inspiration on how to cope with the long-term financial burden of its rapidly ageing population. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hong Kong is looking overseas for inspiration on how to cope with the long-term financial burden of its rapidly ageing population. In his budget plan last month, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah set up a working group of treasury officials and experts to make public finance projections for the coming decades.

11 Mar 2013 - 11:03am

No magic solution to an ageing city's financial problems, John Tsang warns

John Tsang Chun-wah. Photo: Edward Wong

Tsang, who defended his budget on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong, warned that giving out sweeteners as relief measures should not be a permanent feature of the budget.

11 Mar 2013 - 5:18am

Call for budget to look ahead and spend more on the young

Lawrence Leung says spending on the younger generation should be made a priority.

Tax rebates may be the fastest way to help relieve the financial burden on the middle class, but the budget should reflect better planning, including making spending on the younger generation a priority, Lawrence Leung Kwan says.

25 Feb 2013 - 5:27am

Hong Kong can lead East Asia in meeting ageing population challenge

Hong Kong should make a serious attempt to address the problem of ultra-low birth rates and rapidly ageing population. Photo: Sam Tsang

It is investment in human capital and systems, as well as in advanced machinery and processes, that has enabled Hong Kong to stay ahead. But it now seems in danger of failing to lead the mainland.

24 Feb 2013 - 1:50am 4 comments

Cost of buying a home is main obstacle to retirement saving

Two in five Hong Kong respondents said buying a home or paying a mortgage was derailing their effort to save money.

With property prices rising, down payments have become a burden for homebuyers. Two in five Hong Kong respondents said buying a home or paying a mortgage was derailing their effort to save money, as were paying for children's education, pay cuts and the economic downturn.

21 Feb 2013 - 6:07am

Hong Kong should revamp muddled fiscal structure

John Tsang Chun-wah, Financial Secretary. Photo: May Tse

The huge budget surpluses that Hong Kong regularly clocks up are a wonder to governments elsewhere. While they struggle to balance their books, our coffers are positively bulging, and increasingly so each year. Such abundance is a welcome cushion for an economy so exposed to outside market forces. But the way it is generated, the manner in which it is managed and how it is dispersed are an embarrassment and a shame. A financial system that is strait-jacketing our future has to be reformed.

14 Feb 2013 - 1:30am

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