One out of 10 people in Japan aged 80 or older, 65+ at record 29.1%
Japan Population Crisis: The number of people who were 65 or older fell by about 10,000 from last year to 36.2 million.
Japan's internal affairs ministry said that one out of 10 people in the country is estimated to be 80 or older as the over-80s accounted for more than 10% of Japan’s population, for the first time. The government report was issued to mark the annual Respect for the Aged Day as Japan tackles with persistent low birthrates, making it the oldest country in the world in terms of the proportion of people aged over 65, which this year hit a record of 29.1%.
The number of people who were 65 or older fell by about 10,000 from last year to 36.2 million- the first decline since comparable data became available in 1950. Of the 36.2 million, 15.7 million were men and 20.5 million were women.
The level compared with second-ranked Italy's 24.5 percent and third-ranked Finland's 23.6 percent, according to the data. "Japan has the highest percentage of elderly population in the world," the ministry said as the country's attempts to improve birthrate have largely been unsuccessful.
What the government data showed?
With the baby boomer population turning 75 or older, Japan's 124.4 million people are continuing to grow older as around 12.59 million people are 80 or older while 20 million are 75 or older, data revealed. As a result, Japan is relying on an elderly labour force as more than nine million elderly are working, accounting for 13.6 percent of the workforce- one in seven workers in Japan.
A quarter of all elderly in Japan have jobs- less than South Korea's 36.2 percent, but far ahead of the United States at 18.6 percent, and France at 3.9 percent. More than a third of people between 70 to 74 have jobs in Japan, the data showed and by 2040 Japan's elderly population is projected to account for 34.8 percent of the population. Last year, the number of babies born in Japan fell to less than 800,000 for the first time since records began in the 19th century.
Why is this happening in Japan?
Japan prime minister Fumio Kishida has said the country risks losing its ability to function if it does not take radical measures but authorities have been hesitant to accept large numbers of migrant workers. Similar problems with aging and shrinking populations are spreading across other parts of Asia. South Korea is expected to take over as the world’s grayest nation in the coming decades while China’s population began to shrink in 2022 for the first time in 60 years.