‘Population clock’ forecasts no children after year 3011

JIJI, Kyodo

Japan will no longer have children under the age of 15 in 999 years, a group of researchers at Tohoku University Graduate School has estimated.

The team, led by professor Hiroshi Yoshida, developed a child population clock that displays an estimated number of children at any moment based on past percentages of decline. The clock was made available on the university’s website Thursday.

The team used a 2011-2012 percentage change in the number of children that was released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on April 1. The number of children aged under 15 fell to 16.6 million in 2012 from 16.9 million in 2011.

The clock calculates the estimated number of children at present and counts down to the last child, based on the assumption that the number of children is expected to continue falling.

Japan’s child population drops by one every 100 seconds, according to the clock. As a result, there will be no kids on May 18, 3011.

The percentage change, which the clock is based upon, will be reviewed every year by adding the latest population data.

The move is designed to highlight the decline in the number of children in Japan.

“By indicating it in figures, I want people to think about the problem of the falling birthrate with a sense of urgency,” Yoshida said.