Growing consumption seen by elderly population

Updated: 2006-10-23 19:49

The purchasing power and consumption levels of China's 143 million elderly people are on the rise, a population official has said.

Consumption by seniors will likely reach 1.4 trillion yuan (175 billion U.S. dollars) by 2010 and 4.3 trillion yuan by 2020, accounting respectively for 11.39 percent and 15.43 percent of the country's total, said Li Bengong, executive deputy director of the China National Committee on Aging.

In 2000, the figure was only 9.67 percent, Li said.

Currently about 11 percent of China's population is over the age of 60. Chinese seniors make up half the total elderly population in Asia.

"In terms of consumption, the aging population will have a huge influence on China's future social and economic development," he said.

"We need to boost the development of industries that serve the aging population, such as pharmacy, health care, insurance and tourism," he added.

China will remain an aging society throughout this century, population experts have said.

The people born during the baby boom period in the 1950s to 1960s will become senior citizens in the next 15 years, accelerating China's aging process.