1 in 5 people aged 65 or older in Japan predicted to have dementia by 2060

by May 9, 2024Featured Article, News

Around 20 percent of people aged 65 years and over in Japan will suffer from dementia by 2060, the government predicted Wednesday, highlighting the need to expand nursing care and strengthen preventative measures amid the graying of the country’s population.

The ratio of 1 in every 5.6 individuals in the age group means a total of 6.45 million people will be suffering from dementia by 2060, a reduction from 8.50 million estimated in the previous study in 2015 that reflects lifestyle changes such improved diets and quitting smoking, according to the health ministry.

The government is expected to finalize in the fall measures to support people with dementia and their families. A new law took effect in January to better support people with the condition, associated with impaired cognitive ability, to improve their quality of life and promote their social participation.

Around 6.32 million people are expected to develop early symptoms of dementia, known as mild cognitive impairment, by 2060, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. It is the first time the ministry has made such an estimate.

The total number of cases is forecast to increase to 5.23 million by 2030 and to 5.84 million by 2040, when the population of people aged 65 or older in the country is expected to peak.