Updated: 04/15/2014 16:50 | By Agence France-Presse

Japan population shrinks as elderly make up a quarter

Japan's population has shrunk for the third year running, with the elderly making up a quarter of the total for the first time, government data showed on Tuesday.


Japan population shrinks as elderly make up a quarter

This picture taken on February 7, 2014 shows an elderly woman playing a game at Kaikaya Ltd., a nursing home for the elderly, in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo - by Yoshikazu Tsuno

The number of people in the world's third largest economy dropped by 0.17 percent or 217,000 people, to 127,298,000 as of October 1 last year, the data said. This figure includes long-staying foreigners.

The number of people aged 65 or over rose by 1.1 million to 31.9 million, accounting for 25.1 percent of the population, it said.

With its low birthrate and long life expectancy, Japan is rapidly greying and already has one of the world's highest proportions of elderly people.

The ageing population is a headache for policymakers who are faced with trying to ensure an ever-dwindling pool of workers can pay for the growing number of pensioners.

The country has very little immigration. Any suggestion of opening its borders to young workers who could help plug the population gap provokes strong reactions among the public.

The proportion of people aged 65 or over is forecast to reach nearly 40 percent of the population in 2060, the government has warned.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。