Fewer kids are celebrating Children’s Day today, as the population of youth under age 15 has again fallen below figures of the previous year, according to the Management and Coordination Agency.

The number of children younger than 15 stood at 19,180,000 as of April 1, marking a drop of 330,000 from the previous year, according to population estimates announced by the agency Monday to mark the annual holiday.

The number has fallen below previous-year levels for 17 consecutive years now and marks a new low since the government began its national census in 1920, it said.

By sex, the number of boys under age 15 this year is 9,830,000 and girls 9,360,000, according to the agency. As a percentage of the total population, children accounted for 15.2 percent, a 0.3 percentage point drop from the previous year, it said. This means only one in every 6.6 Japanese is a child.

The percentage of children in the total population rose slightly during the second “baby boom” period (1971-1974) but has been in decline ever since, falling below 20 percent for the first time in 1988, the agency said. When grouped in three-year clusters, junior high school students (12 to 14 years old) account for most of the children at 4,380,000. Primary school students aged 9 to 11 are next at 3,990,000, followed by those between 6 and 8 at 3,670,000. The youngest children, aged up to 2 years old, number 3,570,000.

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