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22 Sep, 2015

Japan increasingly gray as people 80 or older top 10 million

Tokyo, Kyodo, Sep 20, 2015 — Japanese society is becoming increasingly gray, with the latest estimate of people 80 or older topping 10 million for the first time, government data showed Sunday.

The estimate for people 65 or older hit a record 33.84 million as of last Tuesday, accounting for 26.7 percent of the population, also a record high.

According to the estimate by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the ratio of people 80 or older accounts for 7.9 percent of Japan’s population.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research forecasts that people aged 65 or older will account for 36.1 percent of the population in 2040.

The estimate was based on the 2010 census, taking into account the number of deaths and births in the following years. The projected ratio for those 65 or older is the highest among the Group of Seven nations.

The estimate suggests the government will keep struggling to meet snowballing social security costs.

A breakdown of the elderly population shows that 14.62 million were men, about 23.7 percent of the male population, and 19.21 million were women, or 29.5 percent of the female population.

The ministry released the estimate before the Respect for the Aged Day holiday on Monday.