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More elderly living in 'empty nest' homes

( Updated: 2012-07-27 17:55

The number of people above 60 living in so called "empty nest" families is surging in China, which will add pressure to the care services for the elderly, according to a report in the Economic Information Daily.

Statistics showed that at the end of 2010, there were 38,060 care service institutions for the elderly in the country. Those institutions had 2.66 million beds and housed 2.11 million elderly people, which represented only 1.59 percent of the elderly population, much lower than the average level of 5 to 7 percent in more developed countries.

At the end of 2009, China had nearly 167 million people above 60, which accounted for around 12.5 percent of the population.

But at the end of the following year, the country had nearly 178 million people above 60, which accounted for around 13.26 percent of the population, the National Statistic Bureau said.

"At the end of 2020, China is expected to have 248 million people above 60, which will account for 17.2 percent of the country's population," said Yan Qingchun, vice-president of the China National Committee on Aging.

"And at the end of the 22nd century, the number of China's elderly people is expected to surge to 318 million, which will be over 31 percent of the population," Yan added.

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