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Elderly ratio hits record high in Japan

One in 10 aged 80 or above

By Xinhua
Published : 18 Sep 2023 10:12 PM | Updated : 18 Sep 2023 10:12 PM

One out of 10 people in Japan is now aged 80 or older, while the ratio of elderly to the total population rose to a record high, ministry data showed Sunday.

Japan's elderly citizens, defined as those aged 65 and above, saw their percentage in the overall population at a historic high of 29.1 percent, according to the demographic statistics announced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications a day before the country's Respect for the Aged Day holiday.

It made Japan the country with the highest percentage of elderly citizens among 200 nations and regions worldwide. Elderly numbers, however, saw the first drop since records became comparable in 1950, falling by about 10,000 from last year to 36.2 million as of Friday, the data showed.

The number of individuals aged 75 and above has surpassed 20 million for the first time. Those aged 80 or older rose by 270,000 from last year to a record 12.5 million, or more than 10 percent of Japan's population.

On a different note, the working population among the elderly has continued to rise, increasing for the 19th consecutive year in 2022 to a total of 9.12 million.

The employment rate among the elderly has also climbed to 25.2 percent. With nearly one out of every seven people employed in the country considered elderly, Japan's ratio of working elderly is the highest among the major economies.

As the country grapples with declining birthrates and labor shortages in an aging society, the ministry said these ratios are expected to continue to rise.