The number of households on welfare in Japan hit a new record high of 1,622,525 as of late May, up 1,601 from the previous month, the welfare ministry said Wednesday.
The number of individuals receiving public assistance reached 2,161,442, down 1,972 from April, according to data released by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Of the households, the number of those consisting of persons aged 65 or older rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 793,658, accounting for 49.1 percent of the total. About 90 percent of such elderly households consisted of a single person, according to the ministry.
The number of “other households” that include persons who are able to work but are on welfare fell 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 274,398.
The ministry attributed the rise in the number of households on welfare and the decrease in the number of individuals receiving public assistance to an increase in single-person elderly households and a fall in other households on welfare due to an improvement in the employment situation.
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