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The estimated number of people aged 65 or older in Japan stood at a record high of 36.4 million as of Wednesday, an increase of 220,000 from a year before, the internal affairs ministry said Sunday.

The share of those aged adults in the nation’s total population rose to a record 29.1%, the highest among 201 countries and regions across the world.

Older men totaled 15.83 million, or 26% of the total male population. There were 20.57 million elderly women, or 32% of the female population.

The ministry released the data ahead of Respect for the Aged Day on Monday, a national holiday.

In Japan, the share of aged people has been rising since 1950. The figure is expected to rise to as high as 35.3% in 2040 when the so-called second baby-boomer generation, or people born in the early 1970s, reaches the age of 65 or older, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

In 2020, the number of older adults with jobs hit a record high of 9.06 million, growing for the 17th straight year. They accounted for a record high of 13.6% of all people aged 15 or older with jobs and 25.1% of all elderly people.

Of the total older workers, those in the wholesale and retail industry made up the largest group, at 1.28 million, followed by 1.06 million people working in the agriculture and forestry sector and 1.04 million people in the services industry.

The number of elderly people with nonregular jobs totaled 3.9 million, or 76.5% of the total older age workforce excluding executives and self-employed people, compared with 1.63 million a decade ago.

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