Japan child population falls for 38th year, hits postwar low

What ?

The number of children younger than 15 in Japan stood at 15.33 million as of April 1, down 180,000, or 1.2%, from last year, the Statistics Bureau said. It’s the lowest since comparable data became available in 1950.

With children making up just 12.1% of its total population, Japan ranks lowest among countries with a population exceeding 40 million, followed by South Korea at 12.9% and Italy and Germany at 13.4%, according to the Statistics Bureau figures.

As of 2017, Japanese women on average gave birth to 1.43 children during their lifetimes. That compares with nearly 1.8 in the U.S. and Britain.


Why ?

Japan’s birthrate has remained low amid a lack of support for working women, who continue to face the burden of homemaking and other traditional roles, as well as excessively long working hours and high education costs

Longer life spans in Japan have added to rising costs for elderly care and social security.

Conservative lawmakers in Abe’s government have at times blamed the elderly or childless for long-term demographic trends.

Gaffe-prone Finance Minister Taro Aso earlier this year had to apologize for saying childless people are to blame for Japan’s rising social security costs and declining population.


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