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Japan: More than four million middle-aged ’parasite singles’ still live with their elderly parents


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Millions of middle-aged singles in Japan still live with their elderly parents and depend on them financially, research has revealed, contributing to the county’s falling birth rate and ageing population.


Japan had an estimated 4.5 million unemployed - or underemployed - and unmarried 35-to 54-year-olds who still lived at home in 2016. They have been dubbed "parasite singles" by researchers. Sociologist Masahiro Yamada coined the term in 1997.


"During the ’bubble economy’ until the mid-1990s, the 20-somethings were happily amusing themselves. They thought by the time they were in their 30s, they’d be married," Mr Yamada told Reuters. "But one-third never married and are now around age 50."


"About 20 per cent of middle-aged stay-at-home singles rely solely on parents for support. When their parents pass away they could become a burden on the state. Once they use up inherited assets and savings, when nothing is left, they will go on the dole," Mr Yamada said.


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