For the first time ever, more than one in 10 people in Japan aged 80 or older. National Data revealed a record 29.1% of the 125 million population aged 65 years and older.
According to the United Nations, Japan records one of the lowest birth-rates in the World, and has world’s oldest population measured by the proportion of people aged 65 or up. The percentage of people aged 65 or above stand at 24.5% in Italy and 23.6% in Finland, securing second and third rank respectively. According to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research Japan is anticipated to account for 34.8% of the population-for those aged over 65, by 2040.
The elderly employment rate in Japan is also recorded the highest across major economies, as workers aged 65 or above make for 13% of the national workforce. However, this proves disadvantageous to the country’s social security spending.
Japan has since approved a record budget for the next fiscal year, partially in lieu of the rising social security costs.
Rigorous efforts to boost its birth rates have also seldom proved successful amidst the increasing cost of living and long working hours.
Although the birth rate is declining in many countries, including Japan’s neighbours, the problem is severe in Japan. Japan recorded fewer than 800,000 births last year- lowest since records began in the 19th century, the estimate was more than two million in the 1970s.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that his country was on the brink of not being able to function as a society owing to its declining birth rate. However , authorities continue to express reluctance to the idea of accepting migrant workers to solve the issue of diminishing fertility. Other Asian countries are facing similar demographic challenges- China’s population fell for the first time since 1961, South Korea reported the lowest fertility rate in the world.