Record-low births saw Japan’s population plummet at record pace in 2013

Kyodo, JIJI

The government said Wednesday the number of births fell to a record low of 1,029,800 in 2013, causing the population to plunge at its fastest rate yet.

A health ministry survey found that the number of babies born last year decreased by 7,431, sinking to the lowest number since statistics started to be kept in 1899.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths surged to a postwar high of 1,268,432, exceeding that of births for the seventh straight year and resulting in a record 238,632 more deaths than births in 2013.

The ministry said the nation’s most common cause of death was cancer, which accounted for 28.8 percent of the total.

Meanwhile, the total fertility rate in 2013 edged up 0.02 point from the previous year to 1.43, according to the ministry. The fertility rate, which represents the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime, dropped for those aged between 20 and 29 but rose among those aged between 30 and 49.

The overall fertility rate grew slightly, since many offspring of baby-boomers themselves gave birth. However, the number of women of child-bearing age is declining and therefore the number of births is expected to fall further, a ministry official said.

The rate in Fukushima Prefecture, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, rebounded a sharp 0.12 point to 1.53 in 2013, after falling 0.07 point to 1.41 in 2012.

In 2013, the number of births in the prefecture rose 776 to 14,546, nearing pre-nuclear crisis levels.

The overall number of marriages totaled 660,594, the fewest since the end of World War II, with the average age of newlyweds coming to 30.9 years for men and 29.3 for women, both up 0.1 year on year.

Due to a tendency to marry later, the average age of women giving birth to their first child came to a record high of 30.4 years, up 0.1 from 2012.

  • Robert_in_Japan

    Just wait until the get THIS year’s stats in! The year of the Horse is VERY unpopular for people wanting children and supposedly, according to the info on
    this, people born in this fire horse year will end up being extremely selfish and egomaniacal and impossible to deal with, so even more people this year will put off having children. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this number in HALF at the end of the year.

    • itoshima2012

      I seriously hope so!

  • itoshima2012

    good news! we’re over 7 billion on this planet, Japan has outsourced most manufacturing to China and other Asian countries so no problem. Hopefully the population will half in my lifetime (guess not…) so I can afford to buy more land around my house….

  • The Snarky Catfish

    This just means Japan’s strict immigration policies will be reduced considerably.

  • Afshin Nejat

    You kept mocking all the people in “tinfoil hats”. Now you are running around like someone took your dolly, screaming about how the world is coming to an end. Idiots, please just shut up and commit suicide already? The last thing we all need are a bunch of armed idiots going on rampages because they *think* the world is going to end. Of COURSE it is going to end, but then in that case what good is your rioting and panicking going to do?

    The whole point is to have lived the best life you could. Did you do that? Well guess what, if the things on your list meant to substantiate that claim include BREEDING and RAISING CATTLE (Sheeplets), then you probably should just tear that list up and throw yourselves onto the ground and beg your non-listening, non-existent god(s) for mercy, and find some good strong drugs to OD on, spare us all your sobbing about what good lives you led.

    When people in “tinfoil hats” talked about cold fusion or various other superior energy source alternatives and the CONSPIRACIES to suppress those options, you mocked them when you didn’t outright ignore them.

    Same for: Cancer cures and cures for other diseases, secret societies and their perverse agendas, unlawful and immoral actions against the public by your oh-so-patriotic alphabet soup agencies, cowardly lies and deceptions by the media in cahoots with all the above said groups, pervasive government corruption enabling war profiteering, industrial pollution, poisoning of food, water, and air, greed of corporations in cahoots with above said groups destroying economies (including yours, lost a job lately?), housing bubbles and other bubbles, phony wars on everything, wars on your rights (including your rights to do what you like with your own body, and with the consent of another to their body), all manner of stupidity and tyranny: