A record one in four women in Japan is aged 65 or over, latest official figures showed Monday, highlighting fears of a looming demographic crisis in the world's number two economy.
Of Japan's female population as of September 15, 25.4 percent were aged 65 or over, topping 25 percent for the first time since comparable data began in 1950, according to the internal affairs ministry.
Men and women combined, Japan had a record 28.98 million elderly people, up by 800,000 from a year earlier.
Japan has one of the world's oldest populations, with many young people putting off starting a family because of the burden on their lifestyles and careers.
The new government has promised to start allowances for families with small children. Japan's fertility rate was 1.37 children per woman in 2008, well below more than two percent needed to maintain the population of 127 million.