Categories for Demography

On the Ageing Population Essay

On the Ageing Population Essay

With the development of the advanced society, increasingly numbers of nations are facing the ageing problem. The aging population, the fraction of the population aged 65 and over exceeds 8-10%, has been universally recognized as one of the worldwide social issues in 21 century. We are ageing—not just as individuals or communities but as a world. In 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older. By 2030, that total is projected to increase to 1 billion—1 in every 8 of the earth’s inhabitants. Usually, the ageing problem would happen in the developed countries, however, some developing countries are facing the same problem as well.

China, as the biggest developing nation, is facing serious ageing problem. According to 2010 census, China has already become an aging society, with 177.648 million elderly over 60 years old, about 13 percent of the total population.

Depending on the report released by CASS (Chinese Academy of Social Science), the age of 65 in China will overtake that of Japan in 2030, which will make the world’s most aged society.

Unfortunately, China is the only country with more than 100 million people aged over 60 in the world and the country’s economy is not well prepared for a rapidly expanding aging population. In such situation, China faces more difficulties than any other nations. Chinese current pension system, medical care system and social service sectors cannot meet the demands of all senior citizens. As we all know, in the past three decades, China created a miracle thanks to the largest cheep labor force in the world, which had contributed nearly 27 percent to Chinese economic growth.

Nowadays, because of the increasing life expectancy and low birth rate (one child policy), the demographic dividend is gradually disappearing. According to statistics, compared with 2000, the scale of young Chinese labor force aged from 20 to 29 has already reduced about 15% in 2010, which will affect Chinese economy, as the number of potential workers, especially from rural areas, will shrink. Chinese government as well as the outside is worrying about that China will slow or even stop the developing pace on account of the shrink of labor force, since Chinese economy benefits a lot from the demographic dividend. How can we solve this problem effectively has been attached great importance by Chinese government.

The Setting

In the late 1970s, China has carried out one-child policy to control the population growth. With the launch of the one-child policy, Vice Premier Chen Muhua expressed his fear: “Young people under 30 years of age account for about 65 percent of the total population, or around 630 million. Some have already reached the age of fertility, and the majority of the remainder will do so within the next 10 to 20 years or so. If population growth is not controlled, it will reach a high peak, making it virtually impossible for the economy and our social institutions to cope with.” In that circumstance, China has put one-child policy into practice until now. There’s no doubt that one-child policy has played a role in contributing, along with urbanization, to a reduced rate of population expansion and the temporary creation of a population with a dependency ratio lower than it otherwise would have been.

However, one-child policy as well brings some problems to our society. For instance, currently, China is undergoing a family restructuring process. The former pyramid shape is being replaced by an inverse pyramid. The typical Chinese family today can be classified as “4-2-1”. “4” represents the parents and parents-in-law, “2” represents the husband and wife, and the “1” refers to the only child of the couple. And the center of the family is on the “1”— the grandchild. The form of 4-2-1 family leads to the condition that the “2” have to prepare for both the older and the younger generations. To the “2”, they have to take care of their parents and child both on material and immaterial life. At present, the “4-2-1” family structure is emerging and will replace the previous family structure in China. Moreover, the middle “2” have to shoulder all the responsibilities of their families. Besides, because Chinese current pension system, medical care system and social service sectors cannot meet the demands of all senior citizens, the children of these aged people have to shoulder more responsibilities.

Policy Initiatives

Based on the problem of ageing population, Chinese government has already launched a new policy to relieve the shortage of labor force market. If the couple matches certain conditions, they can have two babies. Here listed some conditions. Both parties are only child in their respective family; Their only child is diagnosed of having a non-genetic disease and unable to grow up to be a normal laborer; Either party is infertile but the wife becomes pregnant after having adopted a child legally; Remarried couples with the total number of children from previous marriages not exceeding one and so on. Furthermore, relaxing the requirements on emigration application can attract more immigrants to relieve the lack of labor force. Taking Canada as an example, Canada needs to attract hundreds of thousands of skilled workers from abroad to make up a labor shortfall. Since the 1990s, the federal immigration program has targeted people who have the experience and training that are in demand, including medical doctors, nurses, cooks, electricians, welders and other professionals.

It is also a good idea for Chinese government to attract some skilled immigrants. Although ageing population challenges a certain nation’s pension system, medical care system, social service and economy, it is not always about negative effects. From the bright sight, the occurrence of the ageing problem is a good opportunity for China to switch from a labor-intensive country to a technology-intensive country. Actually, ageing population itself is not horrible; the key point is how to respond it wisely. If the government can handle this problem effectively, ageing can also become a moment for the Chinese society to promote economy and realize the economic transition. Chinese government can not only be satisfied with the current situation –“World Factory”, instead, it is time for us to transit to a technology-intensive country.

Taking Finland as an example, Finland started its industrialization very late, in the early 20th century; Finland was stuck in the structural crisis of its leading industries– forest industry, iron and steel, shipbuilding, textile and clothing. But, Finland used that chance and realized the transition successfully. Nowadays, although Finland is facing the ageing problem, it is still on the top list of worldwide competitiveness because of its pillar industry –electronics. The well-known mobile phone brand – Nokia is the best proof of the successful transition of Finland’s economy. Finland people are proud of their advanced technology and eager to innovate. Compared with Finland people, Chinese people like to plagiarize and copy others’ ideas and products rather than innovate by ourselves.

Copying and manufacturing blindly can not make us profit a lot to promote the economy and compete with other nations. There’s no doubt that such kind of countries lack the competitiveness in the world and the prospects for development. As we all know, the price of iphone 4 is from $499 to $699, but the cost of an iphone 4 is only about $188 or even less. The Apple Inc. let some developing countries to manufacture these components of iphone 4 and pay the workers less money, since the labor force in developing countries is very cheap. Though China benefits a lot from the cheap labor force, the wages of Chinese workers often do not follow international standards.

As we can see that the one who master the core technology can earn more money, while the one who just copies and manufactures can only get a little money. Therefore, the lacking of labor force urges China to switch from a labor-intensive country to a technology-intensive country. In that case, China will be able to achieve more balanced and sustained growth in the future. In addition, since the aged, purely a group of consumers who have many demands can bring a lot of opportunities. Due to the unique background of China, the industries related to the aged will have bright prospects, such as health care industry, entertainment industry, tourist industry and etc. The consuming on account of filial piety can contribute a lot to China’s economy.


With the development of the advanced society, the proportion of older people is steadily increasing. And the emergence of ageing population will cause repercussions on the labor market, economic growth potential, public finances and other fields. At present, the ageing population is going to become a mass phenomenon in the near future, which will not only change the economy system, but also shake the base of society as such. To China, answering ageing problem correctly is of great urgency. Encouraging couples to have the second child and relaxing the requirements on emigration application to attract more immigrants to relieve the shortage of labor force are both the solutions to the ageing problem of China. Additionally, China can not be satisfied with gaining benefits through manufacturing products all the time. It’s time to do the economic transition with the wealth which we gained from the demographic dividend.

Chinese government can invest much money to develop the technology, which will acquire better economic profits and development prospect. In that case, China will be able to achieve more balanced and sustained growth in the future. Although China has not well prepared for the ageing population, China can regard it as an opportunity to realize the transition of economy. What’s more, we should not treat the aged as a burden or a threat to our society. On the contrary, the industries which are related with the aged will be the emerging industries in the future. If Chinese government can solve the ageing problem effectively, the chances offered by ageing population can be used to their full extent, which will bring more opportunities to China.

Historical Profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Essay

Historical Profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Essay

Demography is the scientific study of population size, structure(or composition), spatial distribution and development of human population overtime (McFalls, 2007). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present a historical profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Institute and their major contributions to the development of demography. In opening the paper began by defining demography. It will progress by introducing who Notestein was there after his contributions to development of demography. Furthermore, the paper will present a historical profile of the Guttmacher Institute.

Finally, the organization’s contributions made to development of demography will be presented. A conclusion will then be drawn.

Having defined what demography is the paper will now bring in who Notestein was there after his contributions to development of demography. Frank W. (Wallace) Notestein was born in Alma, Michigan in 1902, Notestein received his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster in 1923. He received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University in 1927 and was an Economics instructor there from 1926-1927.

From 1927 through 1928, Notestein worked abroad as a researcher of the Social Sciences Research Council. He began work for the Milbank Memorial Fund as a research assistant and then became a member of its technical staff from 1929 through 1936. In 1936, Notestein began as a Lecturer at Princeton University. At the same time, he developed and directed the Office of Population Research (OPR) at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with funding from the Milbank Memorial Fund.

By 1941, Notestein had attained full professorship as the Director of the OPR and as a professor of Demography, holding both titles until his resignation in 1959. Notestein remained as Acting Director of the OPR for the fall 1959 term while his successor, Ansley J. Coale, took a vacation. After Notestein’s resignation, he remained involved at Princeton as a “Visiting Senior Demographer” through 1963. In addition, he was a “Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs, “at Princeton beginning in 1968. He maintained both positions until June 1982.Notestein’s resignation from full professorship and director of the OPR at Princeton allowed him to become the president of the Population Council (PC) until 1968. Notestein had been a trustee of the PC since its establishment.

Along with Notestein’s positions at Princeton and the PC, he was the organizer and first director of the Population Division of the United Nations, 1946-1948. He chaired the Technical Advisory Committee on Population for the 1950 United States Census and was a member of the 1960 United States Census Committee. Notestein was a researcher of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Sociological Association, and the American Statistical Association.

He was a member of the American Eugenics Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Statistical Institute, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, the Population Association of America, and the Century Association. Notestein married Daphne Limbach in 1927; they had no children. He passed away in 1983 Notestein’s Contributions to Demography, Frank W. (Wallace) Notestein contributed a lot to the science of demography and to a better understanding of population problems in world affairs, especially through his work on family planning and population control. The following are some of the major contributions he made to development of demography. He worked for the Milbank Memorial Fund, an endowed national foundation that supports nonpartisan analysis, study, and research on significant issues in health policy, as a research assistant and then became a member of its technical staff from 1929 through 1936. Here he worked on differential fertility, the total genetic contribution to the next generation (Alter, 1992) The OPR focused on the study of the interrelation of population growth and change in underdeveloped areas and on the social and psychological factors affecting fertility in the American family.

When he was the president of the Population Council (PC ) until 1968. He helped to study and promote understanding of the scientific aspects of population change throughout the world by fostering scientific theory and research in social, economic and medical fields. As the organizer and first director of the Population Division of the United Nations, he advised India’s Minister of Health on population policies and beginning a population center for training and research on demography in India in 1955. In addition, as chairperson of the Technical Advisory Committee on Population for the 1950 United States Census and as a member of the 1960 United States Census Committee, Notestein was a co-editor of the Population Index, a bibliography of population literature that was the official publication of the Population Association of American and the OPR from 1936-1957. He co-authored Controlled Fertility in 1940 and The Future Population of Europe and the Soviet Union in 1944, as well as authoring numerous journal publications. Moving on further, the paper will now present a historical profile of the Guttmacher Institute .

The Guttmacher Institute traces its origins from the Center for Family Planning Program Development. It was founded in 1968 by Alan F. Guttmacher (1898-1974). At the time, he was president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, an obstetrician-gynecologist, an author and a leader in reproductive rights. By 1968, Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had begun to call the public’s attention to the problem of unplanned and unwanted childbearing and its consequences for individual women and men, their children and their communities both at home and abroad. Concurrently, the United States Congress was taking its first steps toward the development of an international population assistance program, as well as a versatile, national program aimed at providing equitable access to modern methods of birth control in the United States.

By putting together nonpartisan social science research, policy analysis and public education, the Center hoped to provide a factual basis for the development of sound governmental policies and for public consideration of the sensitive issues involved in the promotion of reproductive health and rights. This purpose and commitment continue today [] The Center was originally housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Its program, however, was independently developed and overseen by a National Advisory Council separate from the PPFA Board of Directors. Its early development was nurtured by Alan F. Guttmacher, an eminent obstetrician-gynecologist, teacher and writer who was PPFA’s president for more than a decade until his death in 1974.

The Center was renamed in Dr. Guttmacher’s memory, and the Guttmacher Institute incorporated as an entirely independent nonprofit policy research institute with its own Board in 1977. The Guttmacher Institute maintains offices in New York and Washington. Its current staff of 78 comprises demographers, social scientists, public policy analysts, editors, writers, communications specialists, and financial and technical personnel. A few of its employees have been with the organization for most of its existence, and an affiliation that goes back 10 or 15 years is not unusual. The Institute’s work is guided by a 40-member board made up of eminent professionals from a rich variety of disciplines, as well as civic leaders from across the United States and around the world. The Guttmacher Institute’s annual budget of approximately $14 million is derived largely from private foundations, government agencies, multilateral organizations and individual contributions.


To begin with the organization provided a factual basis for the development of sound governmental policies and for public consideration of the sensitive issues involved in the promotion of reproductive health and rights (Srinivasan, 1998) Also, the Guttmacher I supplied information that was more current than the data from the the Division of Reproductive Health of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion thereby providing reliable demographic information. They issued their report on 2005-May-19 which was based on 2001 & 2002 data. They found that the abortion rates in the U.S. continued to drop, although the rate of decrease has slowed since the early 1990s: the rate of abortion declined among women aged 15 to 44 from 21.3 in 2000 to 21.1 in 2001 and 20.9 in 2002. These are decreases of 0.8% a year .This compared with a rise in the number of abortions in the UK from 181,600 in 2003 to a record high of 185,400 in 2004 — a 2% increase.

Abortions for girls under 14 years of age increased by 6 %. ( Bringing this discussion closer home, the Guttmacher Institute and Youth Vision Zambia partnered to collaborate on a project with the primary goal of increasing understanding among priority audiences of the incidence of unsafe abortion in Zambia, in an effort to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and contribute to a reduction in the incidence of unsafe abortion. ( Now in its fifth decade, the Guttmacher Institute remains committed to the mission and goals that led to its creation.

For instance, the organization recently did some work on The Incidence of Induced Abortion in Uganda, where they concluded that unsafe abortion exacts a heavy toll on women in Uganda. To reduce unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion, and to improve women’s health, increased access to contraceptive services is needed for all women. (Ankungo, 2005) In conclusion, the paper has presented a historical profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Institute and their major contributions to the development of demography. It can be concluded that both the person and the organization are significant to development of demography. For instance, Notstein’s study and research of the scientific aspects of population change throughout the world has fostered scientific theory and research in social, economic and medical fields. In terms of the institute, provides a factual starting point in demographic information and methods which aid governments in coming up with informed policies.