Forecasting Future Demand of Nursing Staff for the Oldest-Old in China by 2025 Based on Markov Model

Document Type : Original Article


1 State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Fujian, China

2 School of Economics, Xiamen University, Fujian, China

3 Institute of Medical Information, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China


An aging population and an increase in the proportion of disabled elderly have brought an unprecedented global challenge, especially in China. Aside lack of professional long- term care facilities, the shortage of human resource for old-age care is also a major threat. Therefore, this study tries to forecast the demand scale of nursing staff for the oldest-old in 2025 in China servicing as a reference for the development plan of human resource for elderly nursing.

Based on CLHLS (Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey) 2011 and 2014, Logit model was used to construct the transition probability matrix of the elderly’s health status (health/mild/moderate/severe disability and death). By using the data of the elderly population aged 65 or over in the 2010 national population census, we projected the number of Chinese oldest-old population in different health status by 2025 through Markov model and projected the scale of the demand of nursing staff combined with the human population ratio method.
The forecast shows that the Chinese oldest-old population is about 52.6 million, among which 46.9 million are healthy, 3.7 million are mild, 0.8 million are moderate, and 1.2 million are severely disabled in 2025. Concurrently, the demand scale of nursing staff will be 5.6 million according to the low standard and 11.5 million according to the high standard. Thus, human resource supply of long-term care is worrying.
In 2025, the population size of the Chinese oldest-old will be further expanded, and the demand of care will increase accordingly, leading to a vast gap in the nursing staff. Therefore, it is urgent to build a professional nursing staff with excellent comprehensive quality and reasonable quantity, to ensure the sustainable development of China’s elderly care service industry.


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Volume 11, Issue 8
August 2022
Pages 1533-1541
  • Receive Date: 19 October 2020
  • Revise Date: 17 May 2021
  • Accept Date: 03 June 2021
  • First Publish Date: 23 June 2021