China / Society

China's elderly population to reach 240m in 2020

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-02 16:17

BEIJING -- China will have 240 million people aged 60 or above by the year of 2020, according to a senior health official.

Liu Qian, deputy head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, was addressing the InterAcademy Partnership for Health 2016 Conference, held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Beijing.

By 2020, senior citizens will make up 17 percent of the population, the official said.

Liu noted the severe situation with regard to chronic disease, with more than 260 million chronically ill patients in the country. These illnesses are to blame for over 86 percent of deaths in China.

Liu said the per capita annual spending on health was estimated at around $472 dollars in 2015.

Liu also promised to improve the medical insurance system and basic public health services, and to encourage development of traditional Chinese medicine and research.

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