People are living longer in Japan. There are now more than 10 million Japanese aged sixty-five and older. Recently, the number of such elderly people who live alone is sharply increasing. According to Basic Research on National Life in Japan 2005 which was done by the ministry of health, labour and welfare, we can see how it is increasing.Looking at 2003, the number of families which have an elderly person who is more than 65 years old and the number of families which are composed of people over 65 doubled over 10 years.
|Year||The number of families which have a elderly parson who is more than 65 years old||% of such families among gross families||The number of families which are composed of people over 65|
Basic Research on National Life in Japan 2005
The average life expectancy is getting higher. According to a 1998 survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the average life span of the Japanese is 77.19 years old for males and 83.82 for females. These latest figures represent the longest life expectancy in the world.
According to estimate by the national Institute of Population at the Ministry of health and Welfare, Japan’s population will peak in2007 at 127.78 million before starting to decline. By 2025, the population will drop to 120 million by 2050, and 67.4 million. The emergence of a lower birth rate and the oldest population will have an enormous effect in the 21st century.
With the oldest population in the world, Japan must decide how to care for elderly which is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. It is nearly impossible for each individual family to take care of their elderly by themselves. The number of nursing homes is also increasing.
We all have to support elderly people and have to be ready to face this issue. Society itself needs to change.
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