Over-64s make up record 29.1% of Japan’s population

TOKYO, 20 Sept 2021:

About 29.1% of Japan’s population is aged 65 years or older and accounts for 13.6% of the country’s workforce, both record figures, the government announced on Respect for the Aged Day.

The number of people aged 65 and above in the country was 36.4 million as of September, an increase of 220,000 people over the previous year, according to the figures of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Communications.

Japanese men aged 65 years and over account for 15.83 million, while women of the same age group account for 20.57 million, according to the ministry’s data released today.

Japan has the oldest population in the world, followed by Italy (23.6%) and Portugal (23.1%), according to the UN.

There are 12.06 million Japanese aged 80 years and above, an increase of 460,000 with respect to previous data, and those over the age of 90 have reached 25.9 million, among them more than 86,500 centenarians – another record for the country.

Demographic data shows that Japan is a rapidly aging society, a phenomena that is going to continue to intensify, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

The agency forecasts that those over 65 will account for 30% of the Japanese population by 2025 and 35.3% by 2040.

This demographic group represents 13.6% or 9.06 million of the employed people in the country, of which 3.67 million are women.

The wholesale and retail industry employs the most people aged 65 years and above, with 1.28 million senior workers, followed by agriculture and forestry, with 1.06 million.

The proportion of employed senior citizens has reached 25.1%, the second highest among the world’s major economies, only behind South Korea, where the percentage is 34.1%, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.