China's old population hits 185 million

Updated: 2012-03-01 21:04


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BEIJING - China's population of people aged 60 or above had hit 185 million by the end of 2011, or 13.7 percent of the nation's total population, according to official figures released Thursday.

The number is four percent higher than that of 2010, when it stood at 177.6 million.

It is predicted that, by the end of 2015, the old population will increase by 43 million, taking the total number of over-60s to 221 millon, said Li Liguo, director of the office of the China National Committee on Ageing.

At that time, China will have 24 million people aged 80 or above, and more than 51 million people of 65 or above will be empty-nesters, said Li, also the minister of China's civil affairs.

China's central government is aiming to extend old-age pension coverage to all senior citizens in years, with a higher pension level and an improved service system for the aged.

Earlier in January, Tibet became the first Chinese region to extend its old-age pension coverage to all senior citizens, a local government official said.