Shanghai’s rapidly aging population means that there’s a labor force shortage, especially in the 25-35-year-old age group (report in Chinese).
Therefore, Shanghai has to “import” 244,000 workers over the next five years to make up for this. We wonder if they include, in these figures, all the migrants that come anyway.
The report says that families will be allowed to have two kids, subject to certain restrictions. We heard before that two only children in Shanghai, e.g. those born in the late 1970s after the enactment of the one-child policy, could have two children, but we never checked to see if that was a law or just hearsay.
Shanghai is the first city in China to enter the stage of an aging city, and China as a whole is going to have a projected 31% of its population over the age of 60 in 2050. You can see in the chart that by 2025, the age structure is starting to get “fat” near the bottom where the higher age groups are. By 2020, one-third of Shanghai will be over the age of 59 — in other words, Shanghai will face these problems a little bit earlier than the rest of China.
Aging populations mean greater dependency ratios between those in the active labor force and those depending on them for their pensions. This in part explains why it’s bad when city officials steal millions from the pension fund to engage in real-estate speculations.
In any case, we think all the news we’ve read about improvements in services for migrants has something to do with the necessity of getting more of them to come to Shanghai to remedy the labor supply gap. There’s a a lot of mouths that need to be fed.
Image from Stefen Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages.