Japan population down by largest margin in 2023, births at record low

World Thursday 29/February/2024 08:33 AM
Japan population down by largest margin in 2023, births at record low

Tokyo: The number of babies born in Japan in the year 2023 fell to a record low from a year earlier as the country's population shrank by its largest ever margin, government data showed, according to a report by Kyodo News.

The figure for babies was down by 5.1 per cent to 758,631, according to preliminary data released by the health ministry on Tuesday, the Japanese news agency reported.

A country's birth rate is the ratio of live births to the total population in a given year. It's usually expressed as the number of live births per 1,000 people.

The figure has remained below the 800,000 mark since the year 2022.

Japan's population, including foreign residents, fell by 831,872, with deaths outnumbering births.

A forecast by the Japanese government's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research has estimated births in the country to decline to below 760,000 in the year 2035.

The fast pace of dip in newborns has been attributed to late marriages and people staying single, Kyodo News reported stating that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida administration has termed the period leading up to 2030 as "the last chance" to reverse the trend.

The number of births hit a peak in the year 1973 at around 2.09 million babies and fell to below 1 million in the year 2016.

Meanwhile, according to government data, the number of deaths in Japan also hit a record 1,590,503, while the number of marriages fell to its lowest level since the end of World War II at 489,281 unions.