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Global AgeWatch Index 2015: Quality of life for elderly Chinese is “moderate”

Quality of life for older Chinese


The world is growing older and China is among the countries aging the fastest. The demographic profile of its 1.35 billion people has been reshaped by decades of strict population controls that limited many families to one or two children. That, combined with greater longevity, has increased the proportion of seniors in the general population.

世界人口的年龄在增长,而中国是人口老龄化最快的国家之一。实行了几十年的计划生育政策重塑了其13.5亿人口的结构,再加上寿命延长,老年人在人口中的比例上升。

In fact, older Chinese are among the fastest-growing population segments in the world. Official figures show that at the end of 2011, there were 185 million Chinese aged 60 or older. Just three years later, by the end of 2014, that number had grown to 212 million, or nearly 16 percent of the population, according to People's Daily.

事实上,中国老年人是世界上数量增长最快的人口群体。官方数据显示,截至2011年底,中国的60岁以上老人共有1.85亿。据《人民日报》报道,短短三年后,到2014年底,这个数字已达到2.12亿,占总人口的约16%。

By 2050, as many as one-third of China's projected population of about 1.5 billion may be 60 or older, a situation so far found only in Japan, a "hyper-aged" nation where 33 percent of people fall into that category. So how are older Chinese doing compared with their counterparts in other countries?

到2050年,中国估计将有大约15亿人口,其中高达三分之一是60岁以上老人,这种状况迄今为止只出现在日本,这是一个"超老龄化"国家,33%的人在60岁以上。那么,中国老年人的处境同其他国家相比如何呢?

"Moderately," according to the Global AgeWatch Index 2015, a survey released on Wednesday by HelpAge International, a nongovernmental organization. The country "faces significant challenges," but has "made progress on age-friendly policies," the group said in a statement.

国际助老会9月9日发布的全球老年生活观察指数给出的评价是"中等"。这个非政府组织发表声明称,中国"面临重大挑战",但"在尊老爱老政策方面有进步"。

Here are two examples from Beijing, the capital, drawn from reports in the Chinese news media: In August, officials announced an ambitious plan to build a large elderly care facility totaling 300,000 square meters, or 3.2-million square feet, in the suburb of Gaobeidian. Also, they said they would privatize most of the city's 215 state-managed facilities, for which waiting lists are long, in the hopes that these can offer better care in the future.

以下是来自中国媒体报道的两个有关北京的例子:今年8月,官员宣布了一项雄心勃勃的计划,要在位于郊区的高碑店建设一个占地30万平方米的养老机构。他们还表示要将北京的215所国营养老院私有化,这些养老院都排起了长队,政府寄希望于它们在私有化以后能提供更好的养老服务。

"China, with almost a quarter of the world's older people, is rapidly adapting to be an aging society," HelpAge International said in the statement.

国际助老会在声明中说:"中国的老年人占全世界总数的近四分之一,该国正在迅速适应一个老龄化社会。"

In releasing the survey results, Eduardo Klien, the organization's regional director for East Asia and the Pacific, said that older people need to be valued more, everywhere.

在发布调查结果时,该组织的东亚和太平洋地区负责人爱德华多•克利安表示,无论在哪里,老年人都应当更受敬重。

"We need a paradigm shift, from seeing older people solely as vulnerable to seeing this segment of the population as a resource, with skills, capacities, willingness and legitimacy to actively perform in their economies and societies," Mr. Klien said in a statement.

"我们需要有一个大的转变,不要再只是认为老年人脆弱,要认为这个群体是一种资源,他们有技术、能力、意愿和合法性在经济和社会中积极发挥作用。"克利安在声明中说。

The index used 13 indicators to assess the quality of life in four areas: income security, health, personal capability and enabling environment. HelpAge said its survey looked at the situation of 91 percent of people aged 60 and older around the world — about 901 million people in all.

该指数采用13项指标评估四个方面的生活质量:收入保障、健康状况、个人能力和扶持环境。国际助老会表示,它调查了全世界91%的60岁以上人口——总共约9.01亿人——的情况。

On the plus side in China, most older people have a sense of personal safety and freedom and are satisfied with public transport, scoring above average for the Asia-Pacific region on all counts, the survey found.

调查发现,从好的一面来看,中国大多数老年人有人身安全和自由感并对公共交通感到满意,各项得分都高于亚太地区平均水平。

On the minus side, China's elderly are poorer than many of their counterparts in the region, with nearly one in four — twice the regional average — living at the poverty level, according to the survey.

在不好的一面来看,中国的老年人比该地区其他许多国家的老年人要穷,约四分之一的人生活在贫困线上,这个比例是地区平均数的两倍。

Other findings: 

其他调查结果是:

China ranks "moderately" in health, near the regional average for life expectancy and above the regional average for "healthy life expectancy".

其他调查结果是:中国在健康状况方面"中等",预期寿命接近地区平均水平,"健康预期寿命"高于地区平均水平。

Its "enabling environment is good," with lots of places where older adults can get out and socialize, including more than 700,000 cultural centers. In most urban areas in China, older people have free access to public transport, parks and other sites.

中国的"扶持环境很好",有很多地方让老年人消磨时光和彼此交往,包括超过70万个文化中心。在中国的大部分城区,老年人可以免费使用公共交通、公园等场所。

Globally, China ranked 52 out of 96 countries, with Switzerland ranking first and Japan, which leads the Asia-Pacific region, eighth. The United States was ninth. After Japan, Thailand ranked second in the Asia-Pacific region (34 in the global index). Third was Vietnam (41), followed by the Philippines (50) and Indonesia (74). At the bottom were Cambodia (80) and Laos (83).

从全球来看,中国在96个国家中排名第52,瑞士排名第一。日本排名第八,居亚太地区国家之首。美国排在第九位。泰国在亚太地区排名第二(在全球指数中排名第34)。排在第三位的是越南(41),再往后依次是菲律宾(50)和印度尼西亚(74)。垫底的是柬埔寨(80)和老挝(83)。

2016-06-23

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