Monday, 29 May, 2023

Japan’s population projected to shrink 30pc by 2070

TOKYO: Japan’s total population in 2070 is expected to fall to 87 million, shrinking 30 percent from its level in 2020, according to a government estimate released Wednesday, adding pressure to the government in overhauling the country’s social security systems, reports Kyodo News.

Foreign residents, including students and workers residing in Japan for more than three months, are set to comprise 10.8 percent of the population at 9.39 million in 2070, expanding from 2.2 percent in 2020.

                The National Institute of Population and Security Research said those aged 65 or above in Japan are projected to hit 33.67 million in 2070 after peaking at 39.53 million in 2043. In 2070, they will comprise 38.7 percent of the population, resulting in ballooning social security costs.

The health ministry’s research body provides 50-year demographic forecasts approximately every five years based on public data such as censuses. The latest data will be used by the government to calculate the country’s future pension payouts.

The population, numbering 126.15 million as of 2020, is expected to fall under the 100 million threshold in 2056, it said.

The projected fertility rate, or the expected number of children born per woman during her child-bearing years, was at 1.36 for 2070, slightly up from 1.33 in 2020, but remaining well below the threshold of 2.07 for maintaining the population.

The number of births, which slipped below 800,000 in 2022, is likely to further decline to under 700,000 in 2043 and below 500,000 in 2070, the institute said.

People aged 15 to 64, the working-age population that supports the country’s social security systems by paying premiums, are forecast to decline sharply to 45.35 million in 2070 from 75.09 million in 2020.

Those aged 14 and under are estimated to decrease to 7.97 million in 2070 from 15.03 million in 2020.

Average age of the population is projected to be 47.6 in 2020 and rise to 54.0 in 2070.

Men’s average life expectancy is expected to reach 85.89 in 2070 from 81.58 in 2020, while that of women is likely to climb to 91.94 from 87.72, according to the data.