In 2040, Japan
- the Ultra-bachelor nation ～ Of 46 million, half will be bachelors
Japan has been experiencing the issue of population aging to an unprecedented degree. More than 28.4 percent of Japan’s population is over 65 years old in 2019, the highest proportion in the world. By 2030, one in every three people will be 65 or older, and one in five people 75-plus years old. However, Japan is the bachelor nation rather than the aging nation.
In its January 22 issue, Diamond Online News ran an article headlined, “Japan will be an ultra-bachelor nation in 20 years.”
Mr. Kazuhisa Arakawa, a researcher specializing in the study of bachelors, stated, “It will become a norm to live alone,” and in 20 years, three million men will not be able to find a partner. As a result, the gap between married and unmarried men will widen, with single men including those who divorce or become widowers.
According to Arakawa, in 1980, men with a partner accounted for 59% of the total population, but by 2015, that had dropped to 39% and is predicted to fall to 31% by 2040.
The tendency of the young generation not to marry has already increased, perhaps because they do not see any benefit or reason for marrying. This trend is quite obvious in Tokyo’s working women. Many women who live with others experience stress, so they find living alone more comfortable.
In 2040, Japan’s population aged 15 or older will be 100 million, with bachelors numbering 46 million and men with a partner, 52 million. Alternatively, the aged population will number 39 million, more bachelors than elderly people. In 2020, unmarried men accounted for 23.4% of the male population and unmarried women 14.1%(Source: National Institute of Population & Social Security)
In 2040, however, the percentage for men will be slightly above 30%, and for women, 20%. In other words, a marriage gap is emerging for men. Even though some men marry many times, others never marry. Indeed, rich men often marry several times, so a financial–marriage gap is widening between men, and this trend is predicted to continue.
Moreover, men tend to choose first-married women, and women who remarry choose men who are also remarrying. Therefore, men who repeatedly divorce and remarry are likely to marry again, but unmarried men are likely never to marry at all. Interestingly, this trend is more obvious in Northern European countries than in Japan.
Arakawa further indicated that three million men will never find a partner by any means. In fact, every age group has more men than women, leading to surplus men. This situation will change at the age of 75, with men tending to die earlier than women. But in the aggregate, 3.4 million men will be “surplus.”
In the 20s and 30s age group, there are now 1.45 million more men than women. China is also reputed to have 30 million excess men, and India 50 million.
The future seems grim, and this situation should not be underestimated.
Source: PRESIDENT Online: Kazuhisa Arakawa, Columnist, a researcher specializing in the study of bachelors and Nobuko Nakano, Brain scientist
National Institute of Population & Social Security