In 2000, less than 7 percent of the world’s population was 65 or older. By 2050, that will grow to 15 percent, straining social and medical services, and placing a larger tax burden on the workforce.
Japan has the most aged society in the world. In 2006, it became the first country with more than 20 percent of its population at 65 or older. By 2050, that is projected to exceed 35 percent.
The demographic changes sweeping across Japan are emerging in other nations too, including South Korea, Germany and China. Their populations will age dramatically in coming decades, and they are eager to learn from Japan’s experiences.