China has the largest elderly population in the world -- approximately 126 million people over the age of 65, according to recent estimates from the CIA Factbook -- and life for many of them is bleak. In fact, 50.4 million of China's aged are diagnosably depressed, the Wall Street Journal reported.
What's more, China’s elderly population is growing -- dramatically. The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, a biennial Chinese government agency survey, projects that the share of the Chinese population aged 60 and over will increase to 34 percent in 2050 from 12 percent in 2010.
This poses a huge challenge for the Chinese government. Even though public pension and health insurance plans for people 65 and older have been expanded somewhat recently, China's aged are forced to make do on much less than the elderly in capitalist countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. Currently, more than 35 million of those over the age of 65 in China are living in poverty.
Here’s how life for the elderly in China compares to life for those over 65 in the U.S. and the U.K.: