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TOKYO, September 17, 2018 (News Wires) - More than 28 per cent of Japan’s population is now officially classified as elderly according to government data, the highest rate in the world as the first wave of postwar baby boomers enter old age.

Those aged 65 or older now make up a record 35.6 million, or 28.1 per cent of the total population, the government said Sunday.

The proportion is the highest by far in the world, ahead of 23.3 per cent in Italy, 21.9 per cent in Portugal and 21.7 per cent in Germany, according to UN data for those countries.

The government also said those aged 70 or older accounted for 20.7 per cent of the population, surpassing 20 per cent for the first time.

The figures show the nation’s postwar baby boomers are now entering old age, it said.

The demographic shift is due to a combination of a low birthrate and long life expectancy.

Japan’s rapidly greying population poses a major headache for policymakers who are faced with trying to ensure an ever-dwindling pool of workers can pay for the growing number of pensioners.

Countering population growth

By Amina Abdul Salam

Countering the crisis of population growth requires a change of culture, customs and traditions inherited from thousands of years ago. In this domain, a seminar on "Population … The basis of Development" was held recently by the Society for Media Development and the Advancement of Women (SMDAW).

Dr Ghada Farouk, SMDAW Chairperson, pointed out that there are many misconceptions related to the over population issue that should be corrected. For example, having girl children is not a shame. And then again, frequent childbearing should not be for the purpose of producing children to work in order to help support the family as happens especially in the countryside.

Dr Maysa Shawki, former Deputy Minister of Health and Population and Professor of Public Health, Cairo University, spoke of the current population situation, noting that the national strategy for population, 2015-2030, was one of the most important issues in this domain. She said many workshops had been organised to raise awareness of the hazards of overpopulation, especially in rural areas. An atlas of population development, she said, had been issued.

Dr Abdel Qawei Head of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Union pointed out that there is an urgent need to increase the number of rural guides who number 14,000 guides only and serve 16 million women and direct contact is the most powerful communication with the public.

Dr Amr Hassan, Assistant Professor Obstetrics and Gynaecology, stressed that over population badly affects society. The state is unable to supply the infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and housing units to cope with the population increase.

He attributed the increase to underage marriage and some women having three or four children before they reach the age of 20. And this also may lead to raising mortality rates.

By Amina Abdul Salam

Egyptian Minister of Health and Population Dr Hala Zayed held a meeting with Aleksander Bodiroza, the Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), to discuss ways of increasing co-operation over the population issue in Egypt.

The Minister stressed the importance of developing the media message to deal with the overpopulation issue, which was neutralising all the development efforts made by the state. She confirmed the need to raise the awareness of citizens about the negative impact of overpopulation.

A team made up of representatives from Ministry of Health and all the bodies concerned with the population issue, including the UNPF, the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was formed to coordinate efforts and maximise the benefits of financed programmes, aimed at managing the population issue in Egypt.

Dr Zayed pointed out that the population issue was the responsibility of all the ministries concerned. She added that the ministry would co-operate with university hospitals in the field of family planning so as to increase the benefit of productive health programmes, through improving the efficiency of the health service providers.

CAIRO, July 11, 2018 (MENA) - The population of Egyptians living inside the country hit 97.19 million early in 2018, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Cairo came first as the most densely-populated governorate with 9.7 million people followed by Giza which accommodates 8.8 million people, the agency said in a statement on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the World Day of Population. 

Egyptians aged less than 15 years old constitute 34.2 per cent of the total population while elderly people represent 3.9 per cent, CAPMAS said. 

Urban residents constitute 42.6 per cent of the total population while rural ones represent 57.4 per cent.

Birth rate declined from 2.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.7 per cent in 2017 and the natural growth rate of population went down from 2.5 per cent in 2014 to 2.1 per cent in 2017.