Hist 131/445 21st Century Demographics:

According to Kanamori Toshie's memoir, an "Aging Society" is achieved when 7% of the population is over 65 and once that proportion reaches 14%, the society can be considered an "Aged Society." This happened to Japan in 1994. Kingston estimates that 25% of Japan's population will be over 65 by 2025 and Kanamori says that this figure will rise to 35% by 2050. Startling figures!

Also startling is Kingston's figure that by 2025, 4.3% of the Japanese population will be over 85 years of age, up fivefold since 1965.

 

How about the U.S.? People here aged 65 and older now make up 13 percent of the total population, compared with 12.4 percent in 2000 and 4.1 percent in 1900. So that would mean that the U.S., too, is very close to being considered an "Aged Society."

Another relevant statistic is the number of workers in the economy paying into Social Security to support the number of retirees which will only keep going up as the "Baby Boomers" retire. I seem to recall the statistic from when I was in college of just under 8 workers for every retiree; today there are just 2.9 workers per retiree—and this amount is expected to drop to 2 workers per retiree by 2030. Aaack!! Here are some comparative numbers going back 1970...


Country 1970 2010 2050 (projected)
United States 5.3
 
4.5
 
2.6
 
Japan 8.5
 
2.6
 
1.2
 
Britain 4.3
 
3.6
 
2.4
 
Germany 4.1
 
3.0
 
1.6
 
France 4.2
 
3.5
 
1.9
 
Netherlands 5.3
 
4.0
 
2.1
 
table