Japan: The most aged society in the world
As of October 1, 2005, the total Japanese population was approximately 127.76 million, of which 26.82 million or 21.0% were aged 65 and over. In other words, Japan is the most aged society in the world. While Japanese population has been declining since 2005, the population aging will continue. The proportion of the elderly is expected to become 35 % and by 2040.
Japanese life expectancy at birth, healthy life expectancy
Japanese life expectancy at birth has grown constantly, from 50 years for males and 54 years for females in 1947 to 78.5 years for males and 85.5 years for females in 2005. According to WHO, Japan also has the highest health expectancy. As of 2002, it was 72.3 years for males and 77.7 years for females.
Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare announces Japanese life expectancy every year. The life expectancy at birth is the life expectancy at birth. Currently, the life expectancy at age 65 is 18.1 years for males and 23.2 years for females. Hence, those who are currently 65-year-old are expected to live for 83.1 years if they are males and 88.2 years if they are females. These numbers are higher than the life expectancy at birth (see Table 1).
As of September 2006, there were 28,395 centenarians in Japan, 85% of whom were females. There were only 310 centenarians in 1970.
The arrival of the society with fewer children
The number of child births has been declining since the second baby-boom. It was 2.09 million in 1973, but it declined to 1.06 million in 2005. The total fertility rate (the number of children each female is expected to have in her life time) has also declined to 1.25. This phenomenon is mainly due to the fact that younger people either postpone marriage or never marry. Only about 40% of females get married before the age 30.
|Countries with high TFR（2004）||Countries with low TFR（2004）|
Declining family size
The number of people in each household had been approximately 5 until 1955. However, the census in 2005 shows that it is now 2.58. As for the households with the elderly, the number is 2.73 in 2005.