【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.55: Life Expectancy at the Age of 65

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

I reached the age of 65 in February 2018. According to my memory of early childhood, 65 years old was "very old." The average life expectancy of those who were 65 years old in 1955 was 14.13 years for female and 11.82 years for male, so it was natural to feel that way.

However, I do not feel "old." My level of physical fitness is great, as I do not feel shortness of breath even if I go up and down the stairs, doing a thousand steps in 18 minutes. This is a result of a continued 10-minute muscle- strengthening exercise every morning and a one-hour workout twice a week for the past 50 years. The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research released data in April 2017 that explains why I do not feel like an old man. The life expectancy of a 65-year old male in the same generation is over 19 years. In addition, the life expectancy of a 65 year old will continue to increase to 26.48 years for female and 21.33 years for male in 2040.

Figure 1 Increasing trend in life expectancy at the age of 65


(Source)National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

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