Population, Midyear 2022: 123,951,692
Population Density (Number of Persons per Square Kilometer): 328.94
Life Expectancy at Birth, 2022: 84.82
Projected Population, Midyear 2030: 118,514,802
Percentage of Total Population Aged 65 and Older, Midyear 2022: 29.92%
Projected Percentage of Total Population Aged 65 and Older, Midyear 2030: 31.38%
Projected Percentage of Total Population Aged 65 and Older, Midyear 2050: 37.50%
Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2023). Data Portal, custom data acquired via website. United Nations: New York. Accessed 12 May 2023.
Percent of Adults Aged 65 Years and Over Reporting To Be In Good Or Very Good Health (2015): 25.4%
People With Dementia Per 1,000 Population (2017): 23.3
Projected Number of People With Dementia Per 1,000 Population in 2037: 38.4
Long-Term Care Workers Per 100 People Aged 65 And Over (2015): 6
Long-Term Care Beds In Institutions and Hospitals Per 1,000 Population Aged 65 And Over (2015): 34.3
Long-Term Care Expenditure (Health and Social Components) By Government and Compulsory Insurance Schemes, as a Share of GDP (%) (2015): 2.0%
Source: OECD (2017), Health at a Glance 2017: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris. dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance-2017-en
Formal Long-Term Care Workers At Home (FTE) (2017): 995,389
Formal Long-Term Care Workers In Institutions (FTE) (2017): 425,184
Long-Term Care Recipients In Institutions Other Than Hospitals (2018): 939,900
Long-Term Care Recipients At Home (2006): 2,724,100
Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. OECD.Stat. Last accessed Oct. 15, 2019.
“The proportion of older people in Japan increased from 18 percent of the population in 2000 to 30 percent in 2020.1 Meanwhile, health care spending as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 57 percent between 2000 and 2019 (from 7.0 percent to 11.0 percent), ranking the country as the fifth-highest in the percentage of GDP devoted to health expenditures among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. In comparison, in the US, health care spending as a proportion of GDP rose by 34 percent between 2000 and 2019 (from 12.5 percent to 16.7 percent).2 In estimating total health expenditures that are used to compare health care spending across countries, the OECD includes long-term care expenditures in its estimates, with the exception of expenditures for assistance in cooking and cleaning.
“There are several reasons why Japan’s proportional increase was so much larger than that in the US during 2000–19. First, the denominator, GDP, barely increased in Japan during those years. Second, the aging of the population progressed rapidly. Third, Japan added public long-term care insurance alongside its social health insurance (in which all permanent residents of Japan are enrolled). After the program was implemented in 2000, spending for that insurance increased dramatically, from one-tenth of social health insurance expenditures in 2000 to one-quarter in 2020.3“
Source: Naoki Ikegami and Thomas Rice. Controlling Spending For Health Care And Long-Term Care: Japan’s Experience With A Rapidly Aging Society. Health Affairs 2023 42:6, 804-812.
“Japan is aging rapidly, those over 65 already constituted 27.7% of the total population in 2017. This figure is the highest in the world and is projected to grow continuously up to 38.4% in 2065 (1). However, population aging is a result of remarkable success in health improvement and economic development in a country or region, and a similar trend is becoming visible globally, particularly in Asia. Hence, Japan is only a front runner of a future aging world, and her experience will be beneficial for countries that are to follow. However, the demographic impact of aging is more complicated than just a growing number of senior citizens. Another side of the coin is that decline in birthrate to below the death rate results in population decrease, and especially reduction of the young workforce.”
Source: Nakatani H. (2019). Population aging in Japan: policy transformation, sustainable development goals, universal health coverage, and social determinates of health. Global health & medicine, 1(1), 3–10. doi.org/10.35772/ghm.2019.01011.
World Health Systems Facts is a project of the Real Reporting Foundation. We provide reliable statistics and other data from authoritative sources regarding health systems in the US and sixteen other nations.
Page last updated July 14, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.