Japan Data

Centenarians Number 86,510 in Japan

Health Family Society

While 88% of Japan’s centenarians are women, the number of men over 100 years old rose above 10,000 for the first time.

Figures released by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show that the number of centenarians in Japan (as of September 1, 2021) increased by 6,060 over the previous year, to 86,510, marking the fifty-first consecutive year-on-year rise. Japan has one of the highest longevity rates in the world, but the overwhelming majority of centenarians, or 88.4%, are women.

The oldest woman in the world is 118-year-old Tanaka Kane, who lives in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture. In March 2019, she was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person. The oldest man in Japan is Ueda Mikizō, age 111, who lives in Nara, Nara Prefecture. Guinness World Records also recognized Sumiyama Umeno and Kodama Koume as the world’s oldest identical twins at 107 years and 300 days old, as of September 1, 2021.

In 1963, when the Act on Social Welfare for the Elderly was enacted, Japan had 153 people aged 100 or older, but the number steadily increased since then, exceeding 1,000 in 1981 and breaking through the 10,000 mark in 1998.

By prefecture, Shimane Prefecture has the highest number of centenarians per 100,000 persons, at 134.8, more than three times the 42.4 level in Saitama Prefecture, which was the lowest nationwide. More centenarians live in the west of Japan per capita than the east. In particular, the per-capita number of centenarians tends to be lower in the Tokyo metropolitan region.

Centenarians per 100,000 Population in Japanese Prefectures

Highest Ratios Lowest Ratios
Shimane 134.8 Saitama 42.4
Kōchi 126.3 Aichi 44.4
Kagoshima 118.7 Chiba 49.1
Tottori 114.1 Kanagawa 49.6
Yamaguchi 111.5 Osaka 49.8

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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