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Elderly Industry in China: Market Overview
In 2015 there were nearly 200 million elderly people above 65. The elderly account for 13% of China’s population, and will be 23% by 2030 and 25% by 2050. Due to the one-child policy, Chinese families have adopted the 4-2-1 system. Chinese culture and Confucius principles of filial piety made younger generations taking care of parents the norm. Thus, 1 child takes care of his 2 parents, who look after 4 grandparents. China has the lowest retirement age in the world, at 55. In 2015 there was a 6:1 ratio of workers to retired people, but it is projected to drop to 2:1 by 2050.
Elderly Industry in China: Challenges & Opportunities
Life expectancy surged to 77 in 2015, from 66 in 1985. However among the 200 million elderly, less than 2.1 million (1%) are in nursing homes. Nursing homes are currently a 99 billion RMB industry today, and will be 326 billion RMB by 2050. The government is also investing, planning to add 3.4 million hospital and nursing home beds between 2015-2020. Other growth sectors include healthcare monitoring, nursing staff, and outdoor elderly care.
Fortune of the Elderly
50% of the elderly’s income sources come from family, a far great percentage than in Western countries. Meanwhile, only 25% of income come from state pensions, typically 1,600 RMB per month. For comparison in the US, 40% of income comes from social security. Finally the last 25% come from personal savings, in contrast to the US where 19% comes from personal savings, annuities, and employee pensions.
Consumption of the Elderly
78% of elderly own 1 house, 6% own two houses, and 1% own 3 or more. However, 15% are living with their younger generation and do not own any house. The elderly market was worth 4 trillion RMB in2015. Each elder in China consumed about 10,000 RMB a year on average.
There are several key markets to focus on:
- Healthcare: China is the world’s third largest market for medicine. Sales in 2014 were $94 billion, up 14% from 2013.
- Digital: Over a third of 50-59-year-old internet users in China identify themselves as frequent tech users, and this rises to 41% for those over 60.
- Culture: There are 60,000 elderly education institutions and 7 million senior students nationwide.
- Tourism: 40% of Chinese retirees are willing and able to go on holiday.