A Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry survey revealed a record low decline of birthrate in Japan, dropping to 1,037,101 in the year 2012. It was 13,705 less from last year’s result. Despite the current, as well as the previous, administration efforts, it still cannot be denied that Japan’s graying population has become a persistent issue. Solutions have been proposed in the past with one including giving handbooks to young women encouraging them to bear a child, which was eventually dismissed because of protests from some women’s groups.
To keep the population in stable level, a total fertility rate of 2.0 per woman should be maintained. But Japan’s birth rate kept dropping with 2005 marking its all-time low total fertility rate of 1.26 per woman. However, it did rise by 0.02 point to 1.41 from last year. According to survey, it was the first time the rate increased in two years. It was also the first time that Japan’s total fertility rate reached beyond 1.4 point in 16 years.
One factor that resulted to the increase in total fertility rate identified by the Ministry was a drop in the number of women as denominator for the calculation. Women who had a child in their 20s were 16,200 less compared to last year. A total increase of 8,700 has resulted from the combination of the number of births among women from 35-39 years and those from 40-44 years of age.
Japan has also reached its all-time high number of deaths in 2012, a record of 1,256,254. It increased by 3,188 from 2011. It also increased in 2011 by 50,000 from 2010 though the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami had been a factor. Calculating a natural decline in population is based on the number of deaths minus the number of births. For Japan, it reached 219,153. Although it hit another record low result, what’s alarming is that it’s the sixth consecutive year that the number of death has been more than the number of births.
[via Asia One]