The nation is now in the midst of the Week of the Aged. As the theme suggests, the government and the people must rack their brains to figure out how to build a graying society full of vitality. The internal affairs ministry’s report says there were an estimated 27.44 million people aged 65 or over as of Sept. 15, accounting for 21.5 percent of the total population, a rise of 0.7 point from a year before. The number of people aged 80 or over topped 7 million for the first time.

Japan’s population in the 2005 census stood at 127.77 million. But the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research predicts that to decline to 89.93 million by 2055 due to the low birthrate. People aged 65 or over will account for 40.5 percent of the total population. The average life span will be 90.34 years for women and 83.67 for men. The portion of working-age people (15 through 64 in age) in the total population will drop from 66.1 percent in 2005 to 51.1 percent in 2055.

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