In this country, we sell more diapers for old people than for babies.

In this country we sell more diapers for old people

In this country, a diaper manufacturer decided to shift to adult diapers, which sell better than baby diapers.

The decline in the birth rate is one of the social problems of the 21st century. In most of Europe, the number of births is falling and, as a result, the aging of the population is significantly increasing. According to figures from the European Commission, people aged over 65 currently represent 20% of the population of the European Union. The Commission adds that “The proportion of people aged 15 to 29 has decreased, from 18.1% in 2011 to 16.3% in 2021” and it estimates that those over 65 will represent around 30% of the population. of the EU by 2050.

However, Europe is not the only continent in this situation. Asia is also very affected by the decline in the birth rate. North Korea in particular is the country with the lowest birth rate in the world as indicated by the BBC. A rate which is also falling in Taiwan, China, Singapore and also in Japan. As indicated by the British media, the decrease in the number of births in Japan is such that the company Oji Holdings, a famous manufacturer of diapers in the country, announced in a communicated on March 25, a significant change in its production. This company has decided to stop making baby diapers and concentrate mainly on the production of adult diapers.

“Niepa Tender” adult diapers. ©

As reported by the BBC, Japan recorded 758,631 births in 2023, a drop of 5.1% compared to 2022. This figure had not been this low since the 19th century. In its press release, Oji Holdings indicated that its production amounted to 400 million diapers per year. Production has been declining since 2001, when the company experienced a production peak of 700 million diapers produced in the year.

Oji Holdings is not the only Japanese company to record this type of results. As reported by the BBC, the Japanese leader in the diaper market, Unicharm, declared in 2011 that its sales of diapers for adults had exceeded sales of those for children. In its statement, Oji Holdings indicated that the production of baby diapers is expected to cease by September 2024. However, this only concerns production in Japan. Indeed, the company specifies that its production abroad should continue, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia where the “market continues to grow” according to it. The latter even intends to develop its activity in these two countries.

As the BBC points out, the adult diaper market is booming in Japan. The media indicates that the turnover of this sector is estimated at around 2 billion dollars. The BBC adds that in the land of the rising sun, those over 65 represent almost 30% of the population. In 2023, the proportion of people aged over 80 will exceed 10% for the first time in the country’s history. A worrying situation according to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who declared in January 2023: “Japan finds itself at a tipping point where functioning as a society could be called into question.” For Mr. Kishida it is a “now or never” situation.