Japan’s Elderly Population Surpasses 10% Milestone
According to government data released on Sunday, individuals aged 80 and over now constitute more than 10 percent of Japan’s population, marking the first time this threshold has been reached. Japan, renowned for having the world’s highest proportion of elderly citizens, is grappling with the challenges of managing a rapidly aging society.
The number of people within this age group surged by 270,000 compared to the previous year, reaching 10.1 percent of Japan’s total population, which stands at approximately 124.6 million, as reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. This data was released just ahead of Monday’s Respect for the Aged Day celebration.
Additionally, Japan set another record, with those aged 65 and older, defined as elderly in Japan, comprising 29.1 percent of the total population, equating to 36.23 million individuals. This figure confirms that Japan continues to hold the distinction of having the world’s largest proportion of this age group. As of Friday, Italy and Finland hold the second and third positions, with individuals aged 65 and over constituting 24.5 percent and 23.6 percent of their respective populations.
The elderly population in Japan is predominantly composed of women, representing 56.6 percent of this demographic, totaling 20.51 million, while men number 15.72 million. This difference can be attributed to the fact that women generally have a longer average life expectancy.
Moreover, individuals aged 75 and older now account for 16.1 percent of the total population, surpassing the 20 million mark for the first time.
On a related note, in 2022, 25.2 percent of elderly people in Japan were engaged in the workforce, marking the 19th consecutive year of increase and setting another record at 9.12 million individuals. This means that the elderly constitute 13.6 percent of the country’s total workforce.
The Japanese government is facing the challenge of preventing a declining population from negatively impacting the economy while simultaneously addressing the growing needs of its elderly citizens, many of whom live alone and require personal support.