Japan is dealing with what economists call a “demographic time bomb.” Through a vicious cycle of low fertility and low consumer spending, the country’s economy has gradually shrunk over the last 25 years. People are living longer, and they’re heaping greater social-security costs onto younger generations who aren’t having kids to replace them – thereby furthering the cycle.
Here are some of the most visible signs in daily life that the time bomb is ticking.
- There are now 68,000 people over 100 years old.
To put Japan’s widespread aging in perspective, 2017 marked the 47th straight year that the country has broken its own record for the number of centenarians, or people living past their 100th birthday.
In 2016, there were roughly 65,000 centenarians out of the total population of 127 million. The new total for 2017 stands at 67,824, The Asahi Shimbun reported in September. Japan has the highest…
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