Much has been written about China's future demographic crisis, summed up by the words "China will get old before it gets rich." But it is seldom realized just how close China is to a tipping point – it is this year. The workforce participation rate (percentage of the population aged 15-64 inclusive) peaks in 2010 at the astonishing level of 71.9 percent. The total working age population will peak five years later at 998 million, an increase of only about 25 million or about 0.5 percent annually. Those are not forecasts. They are already baked into the age statistics.