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Who is considered old?  The UN defines an older person as anyone over 60. In 2017, the global population aged 60 and older is growing faster than all younger groups. Countries everywhere are getting older. But the speed and scope of China’s population aging is unprecedented, exacerbated by decades of its one-child policy. By 2030, China will have almost 500 million people over 60 years old, the largest cohort in the world.

Conversations about population aging tend to focus on the burdens it places on the economy. But in China’s wealthiest and oldest cities, a new “silver economy” is booming. In these places, seniors are not only consumers but also active contributors to services and industries. Quartz News travels to Shanghai to see first hand the cultural and economic shifts that are happening as the world’s largest workforce grows old.

Quartz News is a weekly video series bringing you in-depth reporting from around the world. Each episode investigates one story, breaking down the often unseen economic and technological forces shaping our future.

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