The number of births registered in Japan has plummeted, to a record low in 2022. This is the latest disturbing statistic of a decades-long decline in the birth rate that Japanese authorities have not been able to reverse despite efforts. Accordingly, there will be 799,728 births across Japan in 2022, the lowest number recorded and falling below 800,000 for the first time, according to statistics released by the Japanese Ministry of Health. That number has nearly halved over the past 40 years, when Japan recorded more than 1.5 million births in 1982.
The death rate has outstripped the birth rate in Japan for more than a decade, posing an issue of growing concern to the leaders of the world's third-largest economy. They now face a growing aging population, a shrinking workforce and rising health and pension costs as the aging population grows.
Japan's population has been steadily declining since its economic boom in the 1980s and will reach 125.5 million in 2021, according to the most recent government figures. The 1.3 birth rate is much lower than the 2.1 required to maintain a stable population, in the absence of immigrants.These worrying trends prompted Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to warn in January that Japan was "on the verge of being unable to maintain social functions".
"When thinking about the sustainability and inclusiveness of the national economy and society, we make child support our most important policy," said Mr. Fumio Kishida. that Japan "simply can't wait any longer" to solve its low birth rate problem. A new government agency will be created in April to focus on this issue. Prime Minister Kishida said in January that he wanted the Japanese government to double spending on programs related to children.
However, money alone may not solve this multidimensional problem, in which various social factors contribute to low birth rates. The high cost of living, limited space and lack of childcare support in Japanese cities make parenting difficult, which means fewer couples have children. Urban couples are also often far from extended families in other regions who can support them. According to research from financial institution Jefferies, in 2022, Japan is ranked as one of the most expensive places in the world to raise a child. In addition, the Japanese economy has stagnated since the early 1990s, which means wages are disappointingly low and there is little room for advancement.
However, all is not grey for the country of the rising sun. Japan is by far the country with the highest life expectancy in the world. Indeed, since 2020, nearly 1 in 1,500 people in Japan has a life expectancy of 100 years or more.
Info Source : CNN, WFF