PIP: This study examines patterns among the elderly in China using census data. The analysis includes a description of past population changes by province and urban or rural status and future population projection scenarios with 3 variants of fertility and mortality. The author briefly discusses the socioeconomic implications of population aging. China had high fertility and mortality in 1949. The mortality rate improved during the 1950s and 1960s. Fertility declined to 2.24 in 1980. Population size expanded in the early 1950s and 1960s. A baby boom occurred in 1963-64. By 1982, the population pyramid showed the fluctuations in fertility and slow, gradual growth. In 1990, the increase in persons aged 0-4 reflected the increase in the number of reproductive age women. The proportion aged over 65 years rose from 4.41% to 5.57% during 1953-90. The total dependency ratio in 1990 was 49.83 (8.35 elderly). Old age ratios varied by region, from 6.68 in the Northwest to 8.79 in the Central South. More elderly were females and persons living in rural areas. Projections to 2050 under high, medium, and low variants indicate a range from 17.5% to 26.6% of elderly, or over 322.5 million persons, an increase from 67 million in 1990. The dependency ratio will increase. The speed of the process of population aging will increase after 2000.