Japan's Elderly Population Hits Record High

Japan's elderly population hits record high

A Japanese government survey shows the number of people aged 65 or older, and their proportion to the overall population, have both marked record highs.

The internal affairs ministry estimates that, as of Sunday, the elderly population stood at 35.88 million. That's up 320,000 from last year. Monday is the Respect for the Aged Day national holiday.

The ministry says the ratio of elderly people to the total population was 28.4 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point.

UN data shows the proportion is the largest in the world, followed by Italy with 23.0 percent and Portugal with 22.4 percent.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research estimates Japan's elderly ratio will be 35.3 percent in 2040.

The ministry also says the number of elderly workers was 8.62 million last year, making up 12.9 percent of the workforce. Both are record highs.