A growing number of people are eating alone for more than half of the week, mirroring a rise in the number of single-person households due to a falling birthrate, an aging society, and changes in household composition, according to a government report approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.

The white paper on shokuiku (dietary education) said 11 percent of the surveyed 1,786 respondents were having meals on their own almost every day, and another 4.3 percent said they were four to five days a week.

The combined 15.3 percent of such diners marks a rise of 5 percentage points from the level in 2011, the first year the government posed the question during its annual dietary education survey.