Retirement pensions

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

The old-age crisis facing China

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.