Japanese over 60 contribute nearly half of consumer spending

As ever, Japan’s super-aged status means that it provides a valuable test lab for what will happen to other developed societies in future.

McKinsey claims that in developed countries, the elderly population (60 plus) will grow by more than one-third in the next 15 years, and they will total about 222 million people. They’ll account for about 51 percent of urban consumption growth, which is equivalent to more than $4 trillion.

In Japan, stagnant incomes and rising social insurance premiums have caused a long-term decline in nominal consumption – particularly among consumers in their 40s and 50s.


This Bloomberg report suggests that the 60+ Japanese consumers spend more on medical care, social activities, travel and home renovation while spending on cars drops, with fewer seniors on the road.

Although these older consumers are spending more in aggregate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all living well. Many in Japan live off income from public pensions.

Economists suggest that ‘Seniors’ consumption is going to increase at places like convenience stores and discount shops. They won’t all be able to go to department stores, luxury hotels etc.

How can we benefit from Japan’s ‘lab-test’?

Dispense with ageist stereotypes and start designing customer experiences, business and Age-Friendly social models that meet the needs of people regardless of age.