Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Armies of the Very Old

Today's Guardian Unlimited forwards a brief wire service report that blows my mind. Not for the sum, mind you, but the delta:

Tenth of Japan population aged 75 or older - govt
Guardian Unlimited

TOKYO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - A tenth of Japan's population is now aged 75 or older, a historical high signalling risks to the economy's long-term growth and ability to fund growing pension payments.

The number of people in Japan aged 75 or older came to 12.76 million at the start of November, up from 12.21 million at the same time last year, monthly data from the Internal Affairs Ministry showed on Wednesday.
Look at those last two numbers again. In between November 2006 and November 2007, the net increase in the population aged 75 or older was 550,000 individuals. For a sense of scale, consider that Tottori Prefecture's TOTAL population is 599,000.

They are become legions.

And they all, each and every one of them (well almost) have the right to vote.

1 comment:

Janne Morén said...

Might or might not be of interest, but I wrote a bit about this subject here:

http://janneinosaka.blogspot.com/2007/11/population-decline.html

My basic point: Older population - or a smaller population - is not a problem, it's failing to change the society to adapt for it (changing retirement age, for instance) that is.