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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.
The country had an estimated 4.5 million unemployed — or under-employed — 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 "parasite singles" 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,” he told Reuters.
“But one-third never married and are now around age 50."
About 20 percent 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.
But many "parasite singles" argue that they did not choose their lifestyle, but were handed it by the economy.