【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.172: Demand for disposable diapers has been increasing rapidly

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.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which is in charge of infrastructure development, released a prediction on the demand for disposable diapers. This is because the increasing amount of disposable diapers in the garbage has become a substantial social problem.

As shown in Figure 1, the number of children who use disposable diapers is projected to decrease from the current 3.31 million to 2.56 million in 2040 due to the declining birthrate. This is defined as the sum of the population from 0 to 2 years old and 40% of the 3-year-old population. On the other hand, the number of adults who use disposable diapers will increase from the current 3.30 million to 5.22 million in 2040, reflecting the aging society. Elderly facilities use a large amount of disposable diapers. In addition, 69.9% of people receiving long-term care at home and 22.7% of adults with symptoms of urinary/excrement leakage use disposable diapers. Figure 2 shows that the annual demand for paper diapers is projected to increase to 14,199 million in 2040 from the current 12,064 million.

Figure 1: Population using disposable diaper

Note: The total does not necessarily match because of rounding.
Source: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

Figure 2: Annual demand for paper diapers

Source: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

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