That Japan's society is aging rapidly is no secret. In 1990, there were around six people of working age for each retired person drawing a pension. By 2025, that number will be around just two.
Japan has the highest proportion of over-65s in the world and the lowest ratio of children under 15. In 2009, the population of elderly citizens (65 years and over) in Japan was 29.01 million, 22.7 % of the total population and a record high in terms of number and percentage. The percentage of people over 65 is expected to rise to an amazing 40% by 2055.
Prominent in the news recently have been numerous cases of supposed centenarians in Japan having actually died several years ago, but their deaths remaining unreported to the authorities. The recent cases of Japan's missing centenarians have highlighted the social problems caused by the country's graying population: unscrupulous relatives working the pension system to milk the state, overstretched social workers unable to keep track of the country's senior citizens and isolated pensioners slowly sliding out of touch with society around them.
Some may argue that Japan is overcrowded and that a reduction in the population is to be desired, but if a large proportion of the population remains aged what sort of a future does Japan face?
Read more about graying Japan.
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