Empty nests: Half of urban China's aged live alone BEIJING: Figures released by China's National Committee on Aging indicate nearly half of senior citizens in urban China live away from their children. "About 49.7% of senior citizens in China's towns and cities live away from their off-springs in 'empty nests'," said Yan Qingchun, deputy director of the National Committee on Aging, at a symposium in Beijing. Yan added in rural areas, 38.8% elderly people are forced to live on their own, with large scale migration from villages and the one-child policy to be blamed for the trend. "The situation in villages might get worse because the number of 'empty nests' in rural areas is growing at a faster rate than in urban areas," said Yan, adding that during its 12th five-year plan (2011-2015), the government plans to build 30-bed old age homes for every 1,000 senior citizens. Traditionally, Chinese social and religious practices have revolved around the idea of loyalty to elders with the system now under severe strain due to industrial development which is breaking up homes and forcing grown up children to live away from parents, sources said. Empty nests: Half of urban China's aged live alone - The Times of India ******************************* This is the sad and unfortunate commentary of a nation that is too busy to feather its own nest of nuclear family. This is the pitfall of chasing the 'capitalist' dream wherein age old traditions of looking after the aged parents is slowly vanishing. It only leads to social disharmony and increased necessity of the Govt using funds and resources to look after the senior citizens and thereby not being able to deploy the funds and resources so used for senior citizens for other useful social and community purpose. This can happen to all societies emerging into a capitalist societal form.