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Demographic profiles in China

Age structure

  • Children (14 years and under): Despite the one child policy, there are over 360 million children in China. These "Little Emperors and Empresses" are doted upon by their parents. Much of the family income is spent on their education and care, and children have a large influence on the way the family's remaining disposable income is spent.
  • The 15 – 25's: This age group were also born under the one child policy, and are now the hopes of their families. They have the most disposable income of any group, high consumption, and are quick to adopt new ideas, technologies and products.
  • The 26 – 45's: This age group, the largest, is the cornerstone of the Chinese economy. They are hard working and ambitious, resulting in relatively high incomes. However, their spending behaviour is based on the needs of the family.
  • The 46 – 60s: This group is more traditional. They also work hard, however they prefer to save their money.
  • The over 60's: There are 140 million people over the age of 60. This age group are very traditional and rely on the family unit, however they do have their own money. In 2010 this age group consumed over 1.4 trillion RMB (aprox. USD$180 billion) in goods and services.

The classes

  • The upper class of China is a small and select group of the very top government officials, intellectuals and business leaders.
  • Behind them, the growing middle class has now reached over 150 million. Made up of professionals, government officials, intellectuals and successful business people, this group is expected to grow to 350 million in the next 10 years.
  • The urban population is by far the largest class at over 500 million, representing over 36 percent of the population. Due to proactive strategies by the government, this population is still growing as people are lifted from the lower class.
  • A significant proportion of the population is still considered lower class. This population is predominately in rural areas of China, live in traditional villages, and rely on agriculture.
  • For Australian businesses looking for growth potential, opportunities for finding a trading partner in China are currently promising.

For further information, please contact Sara Cheng, Manager – Greater China Region.   

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Sara Cheng
Senior Manager, China Practice
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Mike Liu
China Trade Advisor
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