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Thursday, June 3, 2004

Chinese Population Crisis

China faces some unexpected demographic changes that could shake the world's economic and political realities throughout the 21st century. The trends:

• Bottomline problem: China will age faster than any major country in history. The one couple one child policy will cause serious problems.

• Median age in China goes from 32 today to 44 in 2040. Europe took 100 years to mature this much.

China gets old before it gets rich. The reverse happened in Japan, Europe, and the U.S.

• China has a surplus of males (118 to 100 in 2000).

• This surplus of males will produce social stress. An army of bachelors, more likely to commit crimes or wage wars than men in sexually balanced societies.

• China's list of problems includes: aging society, low level of development, no pension or health care coverage, rising taxes, and the working age population starts to shrink in 10 years.

The Graying of the Middle Kingdom
Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population [Amazon]
A Population Crisis in the Most Populous Nation [NY Times]

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia