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2019.05.31

【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.189: The number of one-person households whose head is aged 75 years or older will increase 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.

As mentioned in Column Nos. 36 and 37, whereas the number of households in Japan will decline from 53.3 million in 2015 to 50.8 million in 2040, the number of one-person households will increase from 18.4 million in 2015 to 19.9 million in 2040. In April 2019, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released a report, which is a detailed version of previous data, on the estimated number of future households by region.

As shown in Figure 1, the number of households is expected to decrease by 2,575,000 during the period from 2015 to 2040, mainly owing to decreases in Hokkaido Prefecture and the six prefectures of Tohoku, namely, Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, and Fukushima. Notably, the number of households in Osaka, the metropolitan area, will decrease from 3,918,000 in 2015 to 3,670,000 in 2040. In the same period, the number of households will increase in the Southern Kanto Area, consisting of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba, as well as Aichi and Okinawa.

While the number of households is decreasing, as described above, the number of one-person households whose head is aged 75 years or older is expected to surge from 3,369,000 in 2015 to 5,122,000 in 2040 (Figure 2). The increase is concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Kanto Area, Osaka, Hyogo, Aichi, and Fukuoka. This trend suggests the need to expand the provision of health care and life support to older adults living alone in urban areas.


Figure 1 Regional change in the number of households

189_fig1.png

Source: National Institute of Population and Social Security Research


Figure 2: Number of one-person households whose head is aged 75 years or older

189_fig2.png

Source: National Institute of Population and Social Security Research


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