Japanese Health System Overview
Health System Rankings
Health System Outcomes
Health System Coverage
Japan’s COVID-19 Strategy
Health System Expenditures
Health System Financing
System Resources and Utilization
People With Disabilities
Social Determinants & Health Equity
Health System History and Challenges
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.
Annual Population Growth Rate 2000-2018: 0.0%
Projected Annual Population Growth Rate 2018-2030: -0.4%
Proportion of Urban Population, 2018: 92%
Annual Growth Rate of Urban Population 2000-2018: 0.8%
Projected Annual Growth Rate of Urban Population 2018-2030: -0.3%
Source: UNICEF (2019). The State of the World’s Children 2019. Children, Food and Nutrition: Growing well in a changing world. UNICEF, New York.
“The population in Japan increased steadily from 117 million in 1980 to 128 million in 2004. Although 2005 was the first year that the total population was below that of the previous year, it reached its peak in 2008. Since then, it fluctuated for a few years before beginning a steady decline from 2011 onwards (Table 1.1).
“The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over overtook the proportion of those aged 0–14 in 1997, and was more than double said proportion by 2016; increasing from 9.1% in 1980 to 27.3% in 2016, while the proportion of the 0–14 year olds fell from 23.5% to 12.4% over the same time period. The number of those aged 65 years and above now stands at 34 million and peak in 2042 at 38.8 million; subsequently, it is estimated that the total number of the elderly will start to decline (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, 2016). From 1980 onwards, total fertility rate was below the replacement level (2.0 children per woman). The crude birth rate has decreased steadily over time (from 13.6 per 1000 population in 1980 to 7.8 in 2016), while over the same period, there has been a consistent increase in life expectancy (Tamiya N et al., 2011). Among countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Japan has the lowest fertility rate with the highest mean maternal age at first birth (Sleebos J, 2003). The main reasons for the population decline in Japan are multifactorial, including an increase in irregular employment and corresponding lower wages, delayed marriage, an increasingly large unmarried population, changes in the home environment and social customs, an increasing number of women participating in the workforce, insufficient maternity and childcare leave for irregular workers, the rising costs of childbirth and child-rearing, and immigration policy (Jones GW, 2007; Morgan SP et al., 2006; Sleebos J, 2003).”
Source: Sakamoto H, Rahman M, Nomura S, Okamoto E, Koike S, Yasunaga H et al. Japan Health System Review. Vol. 8 No. 1. New Delhi: World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, 2018.
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 May 13, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.