Future trend of family households and elderly living arrangement in China

Type Journal Article - Genus
Title Future trend of family households and elderly living arrangement in China
Volume 64
Issue 1-2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 9-36
URL http://nldr.library.ucar.edu/repository/assets/osgc/OSGC-000-000-020-356.pdf
A number of studies based on 1982, 1990 and 2000 census micro data
reveal that the household composition in China has been changing
substantially in the past a couple of decades (Zeng and Wang, 2003; Guo,
2003). Those changes are reflected, for example, in the substantial increase
of one-person and one-couple-only households, and decrease in average
household size. More specifically, the proportion of the elderly not living
with children and the proportion of one-couple-only households among the
elderly population increased considerably. Changes in household
composition have been and will continue to reduce the elderly care
capacities of Chinese families, which will increasingly affect social services
and economic development. Clearly, family support for the elderly is facing
grave challenges in the process of rapid population aging and substantive
changes in household structures.
Applying the new ProFamy method (Zeng, Vaupel, and Wang, 1997;
1998; Zeng and Land et al., 2006; 2008), its associated computer software1
and the recent census and survey data mainly collected around the 2000
census, this study projects the future changes in family household size and
structure, elderly living arrangements, and population aging in the period of
2000-2050 under the scenarios of medium assumptions on fertility, mortality,
rural-urban migration, marriage, and divorce for rural and urban areas in
China. As compared to the other previous demographic projection studies
concerning the future population in China, this study has two unique features.
First, we simultaneously project the trends of population age and sex
distributions and project family households and elderly living arrangements.
This is useful since dynamic changes in family households, elderly living
arrangements, and population age/sex structures occur simultaneously.
Second, we conduct the projection of the population classified by rural and
urban sectors and take into account the large rural-urban differentials infertility, mortality, marriage formation and dissolution, as well as the
massive migration from rural to urban areas in the process of economic and
social development. Dynamic and integrated projection of rural and urban
family households, elderly living arrangements, and population aging is
helpful for better understanding the future society and investigating the
appropriate strategies for sustainable development.

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