Japan’s child population falls to record low 16.17 million


The number of children in Japan under 15 years old has fallen to a record low of 16.17 million, stretching the downtrend to a 34th consecutive year, according to government estimates released Monday.

The figure, current as of April 1, is down 160,000 from the year before and the lowest since officials began compiling comparable data in 1950, showing that Japan’s birthrate is nowhere near bottoming out.

By gender, 8.28 million were boys and 7.88 million were girls, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

Children under 15 accounted for 12.7 percent of the overall population, down 0.1 percentage point and falling for the 41st consecutive year.

The ratio was the lowest among major countries with populations of at least 40 million, and compared with 19.3 percent in the United States, 17.6 percent in Britain, 16.5 percent in China, 14.3 percent in South Korea and 13.1 percent in Germany.

By age, those 12 to 14 made up the largest group at 3.47 million, followed by those from 9 to 11 at 3.25 million, 6 to 8 at 3.21 million, 3 to 5 at 3.15 million and 2 and younger at 3.09 million. The figures show that the population decreases as the age goes down.

Among the 47 prefectures, only Tokyo logged a year-on-year increase in children under 15 as of last Oct. 1.

Okinawa had the highest ratio at 17.5 percent, with Shiga coming in second at 14.6 percent and Saga third with 14.2 percent.

The lowest child ratio logged was 10.8 percent in Akita, followed by 11.3 percent in Tokyo and 11.5 percent in Hokkaido.

  • Zamb

    This is a potential problem that just keeps getting worse year on year, and if the Japanese government don’t take some real measures to ease having a family to slow the rapid ageing of their population, which is a big threat to the country – rather than picking pointless, ignorance fueled fights with neighbouring nations (who they should be trying to make good friends with, rather than inciting hatred from!) – this will spiral out of control. A slight population decrease would be fine, but this is beyond anything nationwide in a developed country in modern times, so what is ahead is sort of unknown.

    Unfortunately, this government (LDP) only seems to be concerned about Japan’s war engagement abilities more than the future of the citizens of Japan who would like to live normal lives, which really should come first…