People aged 65 or older totaled an estimated 35.88 million as of Sept. 15, accounting for a record 28.4 percent of the population.

The figure was up 320,000 compared with last year, according to the internal affairs ministry on Sept. 16.

The number of centenarians exceeded 70,000 for the first time, according to the health ministry.

Sept. 16 was Respect-for-the-Aged Day, a national holiday.

The number of women aged 65 or older hit 20.28 million, accounting for 31.3 percent of the female population. The figure for men was 15.6 million, accounting for 25.4 percent of the male population.

The ratio of elderly people in Japan is the highest in the world, followed by Italy, where the figure stands at 23 percent, according to the internal affairs ministry.

The number of elderly people with a job in 2018 stood at 8.62 million, up for the 15th year in a row. They accounted for 12.9 percent of all working people, also a record.

The ratio of working men aged 65 or older was 33.2 percent in 2018 and for women 17.4 percent, both of which represented increases for the seventh year in a row.

Among age groups, 46.6 percent of those between 65 and 69 held a job while 30.2 percent of those between 70 and 74 also still worked and 9.8 percent of those aged 75 or more also had some form of employment.

The number of people aged 65 or older who are employed by a company or an organization, excluding executives, came to 4.69 million, accounting for 54.9 percent of elderly people with a job.

Of them, the number of those working under non-regular conditions, such as part-time or under contract, came to 3.58 million, accounting for 76.3 percent, up by 2.04 million compared with the figure 10 years ago.

The number of permanent employees increased by 410,000.


The number of people aged 100 or more was estimated at 71,238 as of Sept. 15, up by 1,453 compared with the same day last year, and exceeded 70,000 for the first time, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Sept. 13.

The number has increased annually since 1971. Female centenarians account for 88 percent of the total.

The oldest woman in Japan is Kane Tanaka, who is 116 and lives in Fukuoka. The oldest man is 112-year-old Chitetsu Watanabe, a resident of Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture.