World Health Day 2012: Ageing and health

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Over the past century life expectancy has increased dramatically and the world will soon have more older people than children. Ageing populations occur everywhere, but less-developed countries are witnessing the fastest change. This social transformation represents both challenges and opportunities. In particular, countries may only have a single generation to prepare their health and social systems for an ageing world.

On 7 April 2012, the World Health Organization focused on Ageing and Health for World Health Day. In Japan, it represented an opportunity to celebrate Japan’s Wisdom Years, particularly since it is now the most aged society in the world. Life expectancy surpasses 83 years old, the highest level in the world.

To mark World Health Day, WHO in Kobe organized a special forum on ageing in Kobe on 7 April 2012.

fact buffet

Ageing in Japan

23%population in Japan 65 years or older


Japanese women

86 Life expectancy of Japanese women

GHO data on life expectancy in Japan

Elderly population

32 000Estimated number of centenarians living in Japan in 2007


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