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Japan population shrinks for third year; elderly make up a quarter

Published on Apr 15, 2014 4:51 PM
 
An elderly woman plays a game at a nursing home in Yokohama on Feb 7, 2014. Japan's population has shrunk for the third year running, with the elderly making up a quarter of the total for the first time, government data showed on Tuesday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's population has shrunk for the third year running, with the elderly making up a quarter of the total for the first time, government data showed on Tuesday.

The number of people in the world's third largest economy dropped by 0.17 per cent or 217,000 people, to 127,298,000 as of October 1 last year, the data said. This figure includes long-staying foreigners.

The number of people aged 65 or over rose by 1.1 million to 31.9 million, accounting for 25.1 per cent of the population, it said.

With its low birthrate and long life expectancy, Japan is rapidly greying and already has one of the world's highest proportions of elderly people.

 
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