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Aging of Japan

Demographic transition of Japan that commenced in 1888 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Japan has the highest proportion of elderly citizens of any country in the world.[1] 2014 estimates showed that about 38% of the Japanese population was above the age of 60, and 25.9% was above the age of 65, a figure that increased to 29.1% by 2022. By 2050, an estimated one-third of the population in Japan is expected to be 65 and older.[2]

Population pyramid of Japan from 2020 to projections up to 2100
Japan's population in three demographic categories (from 1920 to 2010, with projections to 2060)

The aging of Japanese society, characterized by sub-replacement fertility rates and high life expectancy, is expected to continue. Japan had a post-war baby boom between 1947 and 1949, followed by a prolonged period of low fertility.[3] These trends resulted in the decline of Japan's population beginning in 2011.[4] In 2014, Japan's population was estimated to be 127 million. This figure is expected to shrink to 107 million (by 16%) by 2040 and to 97 million (by 24%) by 2050 if this current demographic trend continues.[5] A recent global analysis found that Japan was one of 23 countries that could see a total population decline of 50% or more by 2100.[6] These trends have led some researchers to claim that Japan is transforming into a "super-ageing" society in both rural and urban areas.[7]

Japanese citizens largely view Japan as comfortable and modern, with no widespread sense of a "population crisis."[4] The Japanese government has responded to concerns about the stresses demographic changes place on the economy and social services with policies intended to restore the fertility rate as well as increase the activity of the elderly in society.[8]