Emily Cadman One in four Japanese now over 65

Latest official statistics released on Respect the Aged Day in Japan mark a symbolic milestone for the country with just shy of 32 million people – a quarter of the overall population – now over 65-years-old. (Hat tip to my colleague Ben McLannahan for spotting the numbers.)

Japan’s statistics agency also estimates that by 2035 the proportion of elderly people will rise to over 33 per cent.

Last year the IMF estimated that Japan’s working age population in 2050 would have fallen to the same size as it was at the end of the Second World War.

The likely economic consequences of this demographic crunch – combined with the low level of female employment -have been written about at length on FT Alphaville.

Japan is the first country in the world to hit the 25 per cent mark, but it’s not that far ahead of other western nations – Germany and Italy are both around the 21 per cent mark.

You can see the demographic patterns clearly in this interactive graphic (using data from 2011) which plots the proportion of over 65-year-olds against gross national income per capita.

For a contrast to the aging in western societies take a look at the bottom right of the graph – Qatar has only one per cent of its population over 65-year-olds.