Ageing in China and Australia: Promoting health, productivity and wellbeing

With the world’s largest population in Asia, regional comparisons on drivers and consequences of rapid population ageing will provide opportunities to gain insight into the responses in countries at different levels of development and socio-cultural background.

A three year ARC Discovery Project ‘Ageing in China and Australia: Promoting health, productivity and wellbeing’ began in July 2016 led by CIs Hal Kendig, Cate D’Este, and Shane Thomas. This project aims to provide deep, comparative insights into the ways in which life span development and social change in China have influenced the development of human capital for health, productivity, and wellbeing of people entering later life. Understanding of social determinates, appreciation of cultural context, and conceptualisation of policy responses, are enhanced by cross national comparisons with Australia as well as examination of historical influences and social variations within China. Mutual benefits in both countries will be forthcoming from a better understanding of how public policy in China can enhance productivity, health and wellbeing along with the opportunities as well as challenges of population ageing. China can learn from Australia’s policy experiences, in culturally relevant ways, while Australian's will benefit from China’s continuing economic growth and opportunities for exporting expertise and workforce innovations for an ageing population.

The China Health, Ageing and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) first provides national representative longitudinal survey data for ageing population (aged 45 and plus) in China. The CHARLS, together with the Household Income and Labour Dynamic Survey in Australia (HILDA), are used for our comparative study project in China and Australia focussing on life course and social determinants of health, the impacts of actual and expected caregiving on older people’s wellbeing and paid work in later life.