June 1, 2005


Birthrate yet again falls to record (Japan Times, 6/02/05)

Japan's total fertility rate sank to 1.28 in calendar 2004, marking an all-time low for the fourth straight year, with the number of babies born in the year also falling to a record low 1.11 million, the government said Wednesday. [...]

The figure is roughly interpreted as the average number of children born to one woman in her lifetime.

It is calculated by taking the average number of kids a woman would bear in each of her childbearing years -- ages 15 to 49 -- and then taking the average of those figures to get an overall number.

According to the report, the number of babies born in Japan in 2004 came to a record-low 1,110,835, down from 1,123,610 in the previous year.

The number of people who died last year topped 1 million for the second straight year, totaling 1,028,708, up from 1,014,951 in the year before.

As a result, the natural increase in population, which is births minus deaths, was 82,127, falling below 100,000 for the first time. The number of natural increase in 2003 was 108,659.

Deaths surpassed births in 25 prefectures.

Subtract emigrants and folks working out of the country and their population actually fell. So the end begins...

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2005 9:00 PM

Every cycle peaks and reverses. At least the Japanese do not have to worry about muslim immigrants.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 1, 2005 10:53 PM

They are going to try and use robots to meet the shortfall.

Posted by: AML at June 2, 2005 10:53 AM

There is always a challenge and response to these things. At most there will be a short-term crisis, panic is more likely, and the culture will change slightly to return to a stable population. The Japanese will do just fine.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at June 2, 2005 12:30 PM

as the population drops, housing becomes cheaper, there is less competition for resources, and women can afford to stay home and have children.

sine wave in action.

Posted by: cjm at June 2, 2005 2:47 PM