Population aging and its effect on total health expenditure: a perspective of prospective age


YANG Xin;ZUO Xuejin;WANG Meifeng


Institute of Urban & Population Development Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences;Institute of Economics, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences;Shanghai Health Development Research Center


With the continuous extension of life expectancy, the negative impact of population aging may be exaggerated by using a static age perspective. In this paper, we try to forecast the population aging trend of China under different age criteria in 2010–2050 and analyze their effects on total health expenditure. The results show that aging rate measured with prospective age would be much lower than that measured with chronological age and the health expenditure for the elderly would be considerably reduced. The implications are that the ratio of labor force to the elderly population would change, which would reduce health expenditure. However, in achieving that, it is necessary to promote the relevant social policies such as encouraging the postponement of retirement age, changing the concept of health service, and reforming the health service system.


population aging;chronological age;prospective age;total health expenditure


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