This information comes to us from The Wall Street Journal. It’s a summary of the Japanese government’s report on their aging population and the issues they face. To read more of my posts on Japan, check out this post on iPads and Custom Apps for the Elderly in Japan or this post on The Rise of Aging-Friendly Stores.
June 16, 2015 By JUN HONGO
The Japanese government released its annual report on Japan’s aging population which illustrates the state of the country’s elderly and the issues they face. As of October 2014, 26% of Japan’s population was aged 65 years old or over, making it the world’s fastest aging nation. That percentage is expected to increase to 40% by 2060.
Here are five facts from the report.
1. As of 2013, there were 2.2 million households in which at least one member was 65 years old or older. That’s about 45% of all households. About 31% lived only with their spouse, and 26% lived alone.
2. The percentage of men who are 65 or older who live alone has more than doubled in the past 30 years. About 11% of them lived by themselves in 2010, compared to 4.3% in 1980. That percentage is expected to rise to 16% in 2035.
Of the women who are 65 or older, 20% lived alone in 2010, up from 11% in 1980. That percentage is expected to rise to 23% by 2035.
3. In a survey of 1,480 people aged 65 or over, 44.5% said they thought ‘kodokushi,’ a Japanese term which means dying alone without being discovered for an extended period of time, is an issue they relate or somewhat relate to themselves.
4. The same survey also asked elderly men and women to grade their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. Women had an average score of 6.96 compared with 5.83 for the men. Overall, those with a monthly income of ¥150,000($1,210) or more scored 7.12, compared with 5.82 for those with less than ¥50,000.
5. In a survey of 3,893 people aged 60 or over, 15.7% said they feel a strong purpose in life and 49.8% said they feel a somewhat strong purpose. What are some of the joys the aged population in Japan feel? In the separate survey of 1,480 people aged 65 or older who live alone, 78.8% said they enjoy watching television and listening to the radio, while 53.1% said they like to gather with friends and chat, and 44% said they like to read newspapers and magazines.