The Japanese elderly population hit a new record when the country’s Internal Affairs Ministry released demographic statistices ahead of Monday’s national holiday, Respect for the Aged Day.
There are now a record 33.8 million Japanese over the age of 65, consisting of 26.7 percent of the population, ZeroHedge reports.
Japan is having fewer babies and more deaths, as the population declined for the fourth year in a row. The proportion of Japanese over the age of 65 was one in ten in 1985, than increased to one in five in 2006, and according to government estimates it is projected in 2050 that 40 percent of Japan will be over the age of 65. (RELATED: Majority Of Americans Under Age Five Are Minorities)
This is causing an economic strain on the island nation, as fewer workers forces the nation to rely more on imports, similarly to the United States. Japan now has record amounts of elderly in the workforce. Consumers over 65 are also much less likely to purchase electronics, alcohol, clothing, and books when compared to their younger counterparts.
Japan will have to figure out how to enact entitlement reforms with this aging population and has already taken steps to raise the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65. China will also keep a keen eye on Japan to figure out how to deal with their similar demographic situation.