ABSTRACT

Diversity and Challenges Societies throughout the world are ageing. In 1900 around 5 per cent of the population of the United Kingdom and Japan were aged 65 years or over. By 2010 this had risen to 17 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.1 is trend is set to continue; by 2050 the proportion of over-65s is forecast to be 24 per cent in the UK and 36 per cent in Japan.2 Japan currently has one of the longest-lived populations in the world, but its total population is expected to shrink from 128 million to 87 million by 2060, the lowest since 1953.3 However, demographic projections are fallible: in the 1930s Enid Charles and Eva Hubback noted that the birth rate in Britain was below replacement levels. is suggested a long-term population decline, but the trend reversed a er the Second World War.4 Japan’s projections may also prove to be wrong, but the implication is that the demographic ‘double-squeeze’ will reduce the ratio of producers to dependants from 2.8:1.0 to 1.2:1.0 by 2060.5 is will have repercussions for all strata of society.