Sitemap

2019.04.18

【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.177: Shopping refugees are increasing in major metropolitan areas

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 Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries has released a population estimate of shopping refugees every five years. Shopping refugees are people who meet the following three conditions and have difficulty accessing food products.


[ Three conditions of a shopping refugee ]
    1. 65 years or older
2. A straight-line distance of 500 meters or more separates his or her home from a store selling food products
    3. He or she cannot drive a car

    As shown in Figure 1, the number of shopping refugees increased 21.6% from 6,784,000 in 2005 to 8,246,000 in 2015. It should be noted that the growth rate (2,621,000➡3,776,000: + 44.1%) in the three major metropolitan areas is greater than that (4,163,000➡4,470,000: + 7.4%) of the local areas. The three major metropolitan areas are Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka (Figure 2). For example, Tokyo area includes the 4 prefectures of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa.

    Table 1 shows the number of shopping refugees in 2015 by region and age group. A total of 33.1% of elderly individuals aged 75 or older are shopping refugees. In addition, the number of shopping refugees in Tokyo area has already exceeded 1 million. This reflects a rapid increase in the elderly population in Tokyo area.


    Figure1. The number of shopping refugees
    177-fig1.png

    Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

    Figure 2. Location of three major metropolitan areas
    177-fig2.png

    Table 1. Details of shopping refugees as of 2015
    177-table1.png
    Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

Related Column Series

see more

Yukihiro MATSUYAMA , Other Column Series

see more

back to Column Series