Single households increase as Japanese get old and alone

06/30/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) – Single households have become the most common type of living arrangement among Japanese, with one-third of the population residing alone, according to a 2010 National Census report issued June 29.

Census figures showed Japan has 15.88 million single households, 31.2% of the entire population, with those living alone exceeding for the first time ever families comprising a couple and children, which account for 28.7% of all Japanese homes.

The figures display the seriousness of Japan’s position of having a low birthrate and rapidly aging population, with the growth in single households a reflection of an increase in the number of elderly and unmarried.

Japan remained the world’s oldest country in demographic terms for the second consecutive year, with its 23.1% of residents aged 65 or over a greater proportion than any other nation.

Japan’s population increased marginally to 128.05 million, a 0.2 percent increase over the 2005 census. The elderly population – those 65 or over – grew by 14.1% to 29.29 million, those aged 15 or under declined by 4.1% to 16.79 million and the productive population from 15 to 64 declined by 4.0% to 80.73 million.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released the figures based on a selection of 1% of total respondents to the 2010 National Census.

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