Close this search box.
Elderly industry in China

How China Will Age? Challenges and Opportunity for the Elderly Industry in China

To know more about the Elderly Industry in China, contact us at

Elderly Industry in China: Market Overview

Elderly in China Infographic 1

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

Elderly Infographic in China 2


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

Elderly Infographic in China 3

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

Elderly Infographic in China 4

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.

Our report on Silver Economy in China: