News On Japan

Japan's Household Size to Fall Below Two People by 2033

TOKYO, Apr 13 (News On Japan) - Japan has released a future projection indicating that by the year 2033, the average household size will drop below two persons per household for the first time.

This projection is part of the "Future Estimates of the Number of Households in Japan" issued every five years by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. The current forecast is based on the 2020 census data and spans thirty years up to 2050.

According to the projection issued by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the average number of individuals per household will decrease from 2.21 in 2020 to 1.99 in 2033, marking the first time it falls below two. The figures are expected to further decline to 1.92 by 2047 and will then stabilize.

The total number of households is expected to peak at 57.73 million in 2030, up from 55.70 million in 2020, before beginning to decline, reaching 52.61 million by 2050.

By type of household, the study forecasts a decrease in households comprised of "couples with children," "couples only," and "single parents with children." In contrast, there is a significant increase in "single-person households," expected to account for 44.3% of all households by 2050.

The study also predicts a significant rise in the percentage of men living alone over the age of 65, from 16.4% to 26.1%, and for women from 23.6% to 29.3% by 2050. Moreover, the proportion of unmarried elderly individuals living alone is expected to jump from 33.7% to 59.7% for men and from 11.9% to 30.2% for women, indicating a sharp increase in elderly individuals living alone without close relatives.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research emphasized the growing number of elderly individuals without family support, who will struggle to receive assistance in daily living. "There's an urgent need to develop systems to support these individuals, not just for medical and caregiving needs but also for financial management and everyday decision-making," the institute commented.

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