As birth rates have declined and life expectancy has grown, older adults have come to represent increasingly large shares of populations around the globe. These trends heighten the importance of productive aging—the continued engagement of older adults in employment, education, caregiving, volunteering, and other aspects of society. The aging of the population, and the place of older adults in society, are key issues in China. An estimated 248 million Chinese adults will be over age 60 in the year 2020. Focusing on augmenting older adults’ human capital through volunteerism, social entrepreneurship, and other possibilities, the study identifies strategies for the development of policies and programs to engage China’s older adult population.
This article evolved from a paper originally presented at an international conference on productive aging, research, and policy. The 2009 conference was organized by Shandong University and the Center for Social Development. Manuscripts were subsequently developed for publication in this special issue of the China Journal of Social Work as well as in Productive Engagement in Later Life: A Global Perspective, which appeared in English and Chinese.
Parallel publication: Mui, A. C. (2012). Productive aging in China: A human capital perspective. In N. Morrow-Howell & A. C. Mui (Eds.), Productive engagement in later life: A global perspective (pp. 5–17). New York, NY: Routledge.
Project: Productive Aging in China