Experts say Japan’s population will continue to gray and decline over the next few years and 2013 proved them right as the numbers fell to a record low. The natural population decline for 2013 was at 244,000 according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication.
The statistics show that there were only 1,031,000 babies born in 2013, down 6,000 from 2012 and that the estimated number of people who died was at 1,275,000, 19,000 more than the previous year. The population now stands at 126,393,679 based on the resident register of March 31, 2013. This number is down .21% from the same period a year earlier. The average rate is every 31 seconds, a new baby is born while someone dies every 25 seconds.
An official from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said that this natural population decline will probably continue over the next few years. The source also says they are expecting the number of newborn babies to fall below 1 million sometime in the very near future. The number fell below 1.1 million last 2005 and has been in a rough decline since then. Legal adults, which is at 20 years old in Japan, are estimated to be at 1.21 million (620,000 men and 590,000 women) as of January 1, 2014, which is way below the peak level of 2.46 million, recorded in 1970. The number of new adults is down 10,000 from the previous year.
On the other hand, the number of deaths has reached more than a million, a trend that has taken place for the past 11 years. As for causes of death, the four most predominant are cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and cerebrovascular disease, most of which are sicknesses gotten by the elderly. More than 20% of Japan’s population is 65 years and older, one of the highest proportions in the world. A 2012 government report estimates that by year 2060, that proportion will reach 40%.
[ via Kyodo ]