August 4, 2004


Population growth hits record low (Japan Times, 8/05/04)

Japan saw record low population growth in the 12 months to March 31 as the aging of society and declining birthrate continued, the government reported Wednesday.

According to the statistics compiled by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry based on resident registry data, the population stood at 126,824,166, a rise of 135,802, or 0.11 percent, from the year before.

Both the rate of growth and the net increase were the lowest since the government started taking relevant statistics in 1968. The number of babies born -- 1,129,239 -- also was the lowest on record.

People aged 65 or older accounted for a record 19.24 percent of the population, up 0.42 percentage points from the previous year.

The average number of people per household dipped to a record low 2.54.

The Darwinists swear this trend will reverse itself any day now, like a brief dip in the local squirrel population.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 4, 2004 9:43 PM

Mr. Judd;

It will. But it will be because an empty Japan has been colonized by some other group of people.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 5, 2004 12:02 AM

Darwinists swear no such thing.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at August 5, 2004 7:22 AM

Darwinists don't swaear, they got nothing to swear by.

Posted by: Uncle Bill at August 5, 2004 8:03 AM

Of course, the Malthusians think it's impossible.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 5, 2004 10:31 AM

I don't know if it will reverse "any day now," but it will reverse at some point. There always seems to be a lg between when the problem can no longer be denied and when the solution finally occurs. I predict a slight trend decline in population over the next 10 years until it stabilizes.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at August 5, 2004 11:37 AM

Darwinism predicts that almost all species will die out. It's hard to see how a population dieing out invalidates that claim.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 5, 2004 4:08 PM

You got it, Guy.

But in the present instance, Japan, conditions are not ripe for it.

If the population of Japan declines by half, it still will be bigger than it was in 1900.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 5, 2004 4:53 PM

Chris Durnell:

Although I agree that the situation won't continue indefinitely, ten years is far too soon for population growth in Japan.

The Japanese Boomers are done having kids, and the Japanese X-ers don't want kids, (or oddly enough, even sex), so unless the Japanese Millennial generation decides to have large families, the birth rate won't tick up for another 20 - 40 years, by which time the Boomers will be dead/dying off.

Therefore, Harry Eagar's off-the-cuff projection might turn out to be prescient: Perhaps the population will decline by 50% before beginning to rise again.

However, speculation that Japan will be invaded/overrun seems unlikely in the extreme.
They'll still be a rich, technologically superior nation with tens of millions of people, hardly easy pickin's.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 5, 2004 6:03 PM


They're sobbing about the Chinese fans mistreating them at a soccer game. They aren't a serious nation.

Posted by: oj at August 5, 2004 6:29 PM

You wouldn't know they're not interested in sex to watch them on vacation.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 6, 2004 2:48 PM
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