New data released by the Japanese government on Tuesday, February 29th, showed that the country experienced its most significant drop in new births last year, with the number of babies born falling below 800,000 for the first time since records began in 1899. The data revealed that the total number of births fell by 5.1% to 799,728, and when excluding children born to foreign parents, the number is estimated to be around 770,000. This marks the seventh consecutive year of declining birth rates in Japan.
The number of deaths in the country also reached a record high of 1,582,033 last year, representing an increase of 129,744 from the previous year. This data aligns with an ongoing trend since 1973, when Japan recorded its highest number of new births at around 2.09 million. Since then, the number of new births in the country has been declining steadily.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stated that his government is prioritizing policies to support child-rearing. He emphasized that this is the ‘most effective investment for the future’ of the country.
Kishida also warned that Japan, with a population of around 126 million people, is on the brink of losing its social function due to the rapidly declining birth rate. Japan is also struggling with an aging population, exacerbating concerns about the country’s future.