About 80 percent of Chinese senior citizens in urban areas will live alone by 2010, in a country where traditionally several generations of a family would live under one roof.
Statistics from the China Research Center on Aging (CRCA) show that China currently has more than 23.4 million elderly living alone, accounting for 30 percent of urban senior citizens. In the industrial city of Tianjin in North China, the figure already exceeded 62.5 percent two years ago, the CRCA said. Also, recently in Beijing, 93 per cent of the elderly live only on their monthly pension, on an average 786 yuan (USD95). One-third live on less than 500 yuan (USD60) a month and 40 percent said they fear they cannot afford medical treatment, while 30 percent said they worry about losing financial support.
At present, China has approximately 134 million people over the age of 60, or 10 percent of its population, with the amount growing at about three percent per year.