Japan Data

Japan’s Population Projected to Fall to 87 Million in 2070

Health Society Politics Economy

Japan’s population peaked in 2008 at 128.1 million, and is projected to drop by around a third to 87 million in 2070.

Japan’s population, which stood at 126.2 million in 2020, will drop below 100 million by 2056 and to 87 million or around two-thirds of the current figure by 2070, according to reported projections by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. The estimate pushes the date for falling below 100 million three years later than the previous projection in 2017, due to the assumption that the growth in the number of foreign residents will continue as before the pandemic, and is based on a projected increase in the annual net inflow from 70,000 to 160,000. However, the overall trend toward population decline remains unchanged.

Japan’s population grew continuously after World War II, surpassing 100 million for the first time in 1967, during a period of rapid economic growth. After peaking at 128.1 million in 2008, however, the figure has been falling ever since. The 87-million projected population for 2070 is almost the same level as it was in 1953, when the country was still recovering from the aftermath of the war.

Population Change in Japan

A breakdown of the population composition in 2070 shows 33.7 million people or 38.7% are predicted to be seniors aged 65 or over. In contrast, the working-age population (aged 15 to 64) will be 45.4 million, meaning that the number of workers supporting each senior will decrease from 2.1 to 1.3. The working generation, who normally drive both production and consumption, may become overwhelmed by the extra burden of social security. The population of children, aged 0 to 14, is predicted to fall to 8.0 million by 2070, representing less than 10% of the total population, leading to concern that Japanese society will not be sustainable.

The predicted average life expectancy for 50 years from now is 85.9 for men and 91.9 for women. More and more people will live to the age of 100.

Japan’s Population 50 Years from Now (2070)

2020 (actual figures) 2070 (estimated figures)
Total population 126.2 million 87 million
Elderly 36.0 million (28.6%) 33.7 million (38.7%)
Working-age 75.1 million (59.5%) 45.4 million (52.1%)
Children 15.0 million (11.9%) 8.0 million (9.2%)
Foreign residents 2.8 million 9.4 million
Total fertility rate 1.33 1.36
Life expectancy (women) 87.7 91.9
Life expectancy (men) 81.6 85.9

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

The population projections are revised every five years, based on the national census. This time, however, there was a six-year gap between revisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

population aging aging population demographics life expectancy