Japan's Respect-for-the-Aged Day now honors nearly a quarter of its population.
According to the internal affairs ministry, the country now has record-setting 30.74 million people aged 65 or older, a year-on-year increase of 1.02 million.
The ministry announced the statistics on Sept. 16, a day before the national holiday celebrating elderly citizens. It is the first time that age group has topped the 30 million mark, and the proportion of elderly is now at a record 24.1 percent of Japan's total population of 127.53 million.
The ministry said that number is expected to continue rising as the generation of baby boomers born in 1947 or later reaches 65 years old.
According to the ministry, there were 13.15 million men and 17.59 million women in that age group. The figures are an estimate as of Sept. 15, based on a national census and other statistics.
Many people aged 65 or older have moved out of areas that were hit hard by last year's earthquake and tsunami. In 2011, the number of elderly moving out of Fukushima Prefecture outnumbered those moving in by 1,585. That number was 1,036 in Miyagi Prefecture, and 416 in Iwate Prefecture.
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