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Top 10 cities for China’s aging population revealed

China has the fastest growing aging population in human history, according to the World Bank. Currently numbering 220 million, the number of people over 60 is expected to grow to more than 40% of the population by 2050.

With an aging population, the obvious question might be: What is the best place in China for retired people to live? Finally we have an “answer”.

A recent report ranked China’s big and medium cities, for the best places for retired people to live in China. The report was conducted by the International Aging Scientific Research Institute of Southwest Jiaotong University.

The institute conducted research for one year among 38 Chinese cities based on five factors - health care, living environment, transportation, social participation and economy.

Zhuhai of Guangdong Province came atop as the best city for retired people in China to live. Although not heard of much outside of China, it has a population of around 1.62 million and became a special economic zone in 1980. The report said Zhuhai has an advantage over the other cities due to its natural environment as well as its cultural facilities like art galleries, museums and halls. Easy and safe transportation also gave Zhuhai additional points in the report's scoring system.

According to the report, the city of Shenzhen was the second best place to retire followed by the capital of China, Beijing.

The report also indicated that regional imbalance in care for the elderly may be an inevitable problem due to the uneven development of China’s economy as a whole. More developed cities in the south-east coastal areas ranked highly with only three non-southeast coastal cities squeezing into the top ten: Beijing, Urumchi and Taiyuan.

However the first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou all failed to come on top due to their bad traffic conditions and their rising use of cars, although their other indices were among the best, according to the report.

The list has triggered various debates among netizens online. Many people think where it’s best to live as an elderly depends heavily on an individual’s expectations and personal circumstances. Different cities also can bring various warm and splendid memories to people.

“Can’t believe the heavy smog in Beijing can make it in the top three,” @shuangdeshijieaimeili said on weibo.

“House prices in Zhuhai are too expensive. Really don’ know where people’s happiness comes from under this huge pressure,”@cccpei queried.