January 14, 2008


Number of Japanese Centenarians Now Exceeds 30,000

Keywords: Government NGO / Citizen Well-Being 

For the first time in Japan's history, the number of people aged 100 years and older exceeded 30,000, according to an announcement on September 14, 2007, by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The number in 2007 was 3,900 higher than in 2006, making the number of Japanese people aged 100 and over estimated to be 32,295 (excluding those abroad) as of September 30, ten times as large as the 3,078 counted in 1989. Women account for 85.7%, or 27,682, in contrast to only 4,613 men.

The number of Japanese centenarians was 153 in 1963, when the Welfare Law of the Elderly was enacted, and has rapidly increased since. It hit and passed the 1,000 mark in 1981, and rose to 10,000 in 1998, 20,000 in 2003, and then 30,000 in 2007. Their proportion per population of 100,000 is now 25.28 of the national average. Comparing all prefectures, Okinawa has the highest proportion, at 57.89, followed by Kochi and Shimane, while Saitama has the lowest, at 13.05.

As part of commemorative events on Elderly People's Day (September 15), Japan's Prime Minister presented a letter of congratulation and a memento (a silver cup) to each Japanese elder turning 100 during fiscal 2007 (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008). The number of eligible people in 2007 was 17,778 (including 46 abroad), up 2,408 from 2006.

Posted: 2008/01/14 11:30:50 AM
Japanese version