Population of centenarians keeps growing

The number of centenarians in Japan doubled in five years after passing the 10,000 mark in 1998, with the figure exceeding 20,000 as of September.

A government white paper released Tuesday by the Cabinet Office also shows that the number of men aged over 65 totaled 10.26 million as of Oct. 1, surpassing 10 million for the first time.

The over-65 female population stood at 14.05 million, the report says.

The number of centenarians marks a record high for the 33rd straight year since the government began compiling the data in 1963, according to the report.

There were 24.31 million people over 65 as of October, accounting for 19 percent of the total population, up 18 percent from a year earlier. Japan’s population stood at 127.62 million as of Oct. 1, the report says.

The number of people aged over 75 totaled 10.55 million, and the number of people between 65 and 74 totaled 13.76 million.

The report says the number of people over 65 will continue to grow rapidly through 2020, after which the figure will change at a generally stable pace.