Japan is the oldest nation in the world in terms of population. According to “Portal Site of Official Statistics of Japan,” as of August 2015, the country announced that they have the highest proportion of elderly citizens; 26.8% of the total population are above age 65, and 13% aged 75 or above. Today, the median age of the world population is 26 years. In Japan, the median age of its total population is 41 years. The population aging problem in Japan is more serious than any other countries in the world. Nowadays, each senior citizen (65 years and older) in Japan has 2.57 workers to support. However, the ratio will be about 1.19 workers per senior by 2060 (Edahiro, 2015). That means there will be a huge burden on the younger generation in Japan. The goal of this research paper is to study the gerontological and societal circumstances in Japan, and explore the challenges that the country faces today, as well as trends on elderly people and their living environment.
Demography of Population Aging in Japan
The article “Japan: Super-Aging Society Preparing for the Future Rapid” indicates that, “declines in mortality and fertility after World War II accelerated population aging in Japan.” A combination of decline mortality, birthrate and fertility, and life expectancy increases among the elderly, Japan became an aged society in 1996. From that time, the elderly population (65 years and older) continually increased from 14% to 26.8%. The elderly proportion is nearly doubled.
The population aging in Japan is unprecedented. Scholars predict that population aging in Japan would continue over the next five decades. By 2030, 1 in every 3 persons will be aged 65 years or above, and approximately 1 in every 5 persons will b...
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...creasing. Although three-generation households have been decreasing, households of parents with unmarried children or married couples were increasing instead.
The number of elderly people living alone is increasing at a remarkable speed. Comparing the record to 1980, the percentage of elderly people living alone in the total population of elderly people was rose from 4.3% to 11.1% for men, and for women it rose from 11.2% to 20.3%. Furthermore, according to the Japanese government’s “White Paper on the Elderly” in 2015, there are 1.39 million men and 3.41 million women over the age of 65 are living alone by themselves. The number of elderly people who live alone has reached epidemic proportion (Cabinet Office, Government Of Japan, 2014). Simultaneously, they are prone to suddenly die at homes from accidents or diseases, because no one is around to take care of them.
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