Nowhere is the rapid aging of Japan more visible than in rural towns like Nanmoku, where 56 percent of local residents are over 65. Over the next 25 years, the proportion of Japan’s population that is elderly will rise from almost one in four to one in three. Sales of adult diapers will soon surpass those of baby diapers.
When it comes to going gray fast, Japan is winning the race. With its birth rate below replacement levels and its life expectancy one of the highest in the world, Japan is the world’s oldest country with the exception of Monaco. Today, one in five Japanese people is a senior and by 2035 that’s expected to reach one in three. Japan’s daily paper the Nikkei reports that adult diaper sales will outstrip sales of baby diapers by 2020; some say that’s already happened.
Nearly half of Japan’s municipalities are likely to see their populations young women shrink by more than half by 2040 compared with 2010 if the flight to major cities continues apace, a study by the Japan Policy Council said Thursday.
During the 1960s a major topic was how China and India could implement effective population control, as their populations grew and resources and land space did not. Note 21st century Japan: the population is steadily shrinking. The National Interest’s John W. Traphagan wonders whether Japan is facing “death by demograhics.”