The population of people over the age of 65 will be 47% of the population of people who are 15-65 (working age) by 2017.
The Japanese Health Ministry estimates the nation’s total population will fall by 25% from 127.8 million in 2005, to 95.2 million by 2050. Japan’s elderly population, aged 65 or older, comprised 20% of the nation’s population in June 2006, a percentage that is forecast to increase to 38% by 2055.
A Star Trek episode called the Deadly Years was when Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty and one expendable character age rapidly
By 2055, Japan will have about one person of current working age (15-65) for every person either over 65 or under 15.
Though it can be represented in cold statistics, the human flavor of Japan’s new demographic order may be better captured in anecdote:
• Rental “relatives” are now readily available throughout the country for celebrations when a groom or bride lacks requisite kin.
• “Babyloids”—small, furry, robotic dolls that can mimic some of the sounds and gestures of real babies—are being marketed to help older Japanese cope with loneliness and depression.
• Robot pets and rental pets are also available for those who seek the affection of an animal but cannot cope with having one to look after.
• In a recent government survey, one-third of boys ages 16 to 19 described themselves as uninterested in or positively averse to sexual intimacy.
• Young Japanese men are, however, clearly very interested in video games and the Internet: In 2009, a 27-year-old Japanese man made history by “marrying” a female video game character’s avatar while thousands watched online.
•Japanese researchers are pioneering the development of attractive, lifelike androids. Earlier this year, a persuasively realistic humanoid called Geminoid F was displayed in a department store window, appearing to wait for a friend.
By most projections there will be three senior citizens in 2040 for every child under 15—an almost exact inversion of the ratio that existed as recently as 1975.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.