More than 10 percent of Japan’s population is over 80 years old and there is a new record of centenarians

Members of a Japanese soccer team, all over 80, in a Tokyo bar (Reuters) (KIM KYUNG-HOON/)

More than 10% of Japanese people are over 80 years olda rate never before achieved, according to data published by the country’s government, which is fighting against the aging of its population.

Authorities released the figure on Sunday on the eve of a holiday in Japan dedicated to “elderly people” over 65 years of age.

According to official estimates, 29.1% of Japanese people are over 65 years old, which represents a slight increase compared to the previous year (29%). Of that figure, around 56.6% are women (20.51 million or 32.1% of the female population of the entire country), while 15.72 million men are over 65 years old at that time, 26% of the male population of the archipelago.

“Japan has the highest rate of elderly people in the world,” ahead of Italy (24.5%) and Finland (23.6%), the Interior Ministry said.

Elderly Japan
Elderly in Japan (Bloomberg) (Kiyoshi Ota/)

Furthermore, of Japan’s 124 million inhabitants, 20 million are over 75 years old (16.1%) and 12.59 million are over 80 (10.1%).

The Asian country has also returned to shatter his centenary recordwhich are estimated at about 92,139, of which 88.5% are womenaccording to data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare. The oldest person in Japan is a woman, Fusa Tatsumi116 years old and resident of Osaka prefecture (west).

When this data began to be collected in 1963 there were 153 centenarians in Japan. In 1981 it exceeded a thousand and in 1998 it surpassed 10,000, an increase in longevity that experts attribute mainly to the development of medical technologies and treatments.

The projection is that in 2040, 34.8% of the Japanese population will be over 65 years old.

(Reuters) (Thomas White/)

The aging workforce

For decades, Japan’s population has been shrinking and aging because Young people are having children later and later, partly due to precariousness and economic difficulties.

One of the consequences of this demographic change is that the population works until older ages. Thus, more than 9 million people over 65 years of age (a quarter of the population in this age group) continue to work, which represents 13.6% of the active population.

According to government estimates, 50.8% of people between the ages of 65 and 69 continue to work, as well as 33.5% of those who are between 70 and 74 years old.

Workplace aging is especially evident in the Japanese agricultural sector, where 52.5% of workers have already turned 65 years old.

(With information from AFP and EFE)