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Almost 70,000 Centenarians in Japan—88% Are Women
[2018.09.26]

As of September 15, 2018, there were 69,785 people aged 100 or over in Japan, and 88% of them were women. This is the forty-eighth straight year for the country to set a new record for its centenarian population.

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has released statistics showing that as of September 15, 2018, the number of senior citizens aged 100 or over had risen by 2,014 from the previous year to reach a total of 69,785 people. This is the forty-eighth consecutive year that the number has increased; women accounted for 88.1% of this aged population.

At the time the Act on Social Welfare for the Elderly was established in 1963, there were 153 senior citizens aged 100 or over. In 1981, this number had risen past 1,000, and in 1998 exceeded 10,000. Since then, the number has increased continuously by approximately 1,000–4,000 people every year. For 2018, the prefecture with the largest ratio of centenarians was Shimane Prefecture, with 101.02 people per 100,000, while Saitama Prefecture had the lowest ratio with 32.90 people per 100,000, just a third of the top level. Overall, there are fewer centenarians per 100,000 residents in metropolitan areas.

Currently, the oldest woman in Japan is 115-year-old Tanaka Kane, who lives in the city of Fukuoka; the oldest man is 113-year-old Nonaka Masazō from the town of Ashoro in Hokkaidō.

Centenarians Per 100,000 Population

Highest Ratios Lowest Ratios
Shimane 101.02 Saitama 32.90
Tottori 97.88 Aichi 36.78
Kōchi 96.50 Chiba 39.34
Kagoshima 95.76 Osaka 40.09
Kagawa 84.59 Kanagawa 42.33

Compiled by Nippon.com based on data published by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Jiji.)

  • [2018.09.26]
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