19 May 2015 – Beijing, China

Number of societies for elderly hits 490,000 in China

The number of societies for senior citizens in both urban and rural communities in China had reached 490,000 by the end of 2014, according to a statement of the Ministry of Civil Affairs Tuesday.

They cover about 74 percent of the urban and rural communities.

To improve coverage and better fund them, the ministry and the office of the China National Committee on Aging jointly released a circular on Tuesday, proposing easier registration rules and including these societies in government budgets.

Pilot programs will encourage local governments to purchase services provided by societies of the elderly.

The circular also encouraged colleges, schools and enterprises to organize volunteers to help.

The number of senior citizens in China passed 200 million in 2013 and is expected to hit 248 million by 2020.

Source: Xinhua.