The number of centenarians in Japan has topped 60,000 for the first time ever, hitting a record high for the 45th straight year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Friday.
The number of people aged 100 or older is expected to total 61,568 as of Tuesday, up 2,748 from a year before, the ministry said in a report released ahead of Respect for the Aged Day, which falls on Sept. 21 this year.
When the ministry started compiling the statistics in 1963, the nation only had 153 centenarians. The number exceeded 10,000 in 1998, 30,000 in 2007, and 50,000 in 2012, as the aging of the country’s population progressed.
The latest survey showed that women account for 87.3 percent of the total number of people over 100 years old.
By prefecture, Shimane will have the largest centenarian population of 90.67 per 100,000 people, followed by 85.37 for Kochi and 80.40 for Kagoshima. Among the country’s 47 prefectures, Saitama ranked lowest with a centenarian population of 28.68 per 100,000 people.
The oldest Japanese man is Yasutaro Koide, 112, who lives in Nagoya. He was recognized as the world’s oldest man by the Guinness World Records in August.
The oldest Japanese woman is a 115-year-old in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.
Her name has not been disclosed at her family’s request.