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‘It is serious’: over 1 in 4 Japanese old enough to retire as population shrinks

This Week in AsiaPeople

In Japan, more than 1 in 4 are now old enough to retire as births continue to plummet: ‘it is serious’

New figures show 36 million people in Japan are now 65 or older, with around 1 in 10 of the entire 124 million population aged 80 or aboveThe government is pumping money into supporting young families to forestall a plummeting birth rate, but observers say ‘nothing seems to be working’JapanJulian RyallPublished: 9:30am, 19 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Japan’s rate of greying is picking up speed, with new figures released to mark the national Respect for the Aged holiday showing that about one in 10 Japanese are aged 80 or older, in a country that already has the world’s oldest population.

Some 12.59 million of Japan’s 124 million people fell into this age bracket as of mid-September, according to data published by the ministry of internal affairs on Monday – up 270,000 year on year.

When expanded to include Japanese aged 75 or older, the number has surpassed the 20 million mark for the first time, increasing by 720,000 over the past year, the data shows. Those who fall into this age bracket were born before 1949, in the immediate aftermath of Japan’s World War II defeat.

02:20

Japan rolls out ‘last-chance’ efforts to curb population decline

Japan rolls out ‘last-chance’ efforts to curb population decline

More broadly, some 36.23 million Japanese were 65 or older as of September 15, with a record 29.1 per cent of the population now above retirement age. Of that total, 20.51 million were women.

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