Japan’s Birthrate reaches an all time low

Can Japan recover from this or will it bring even greater issues?


Andrew Braun, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The large population makes it common to see filled city streets.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses various issues during a conference.

Many people in America believe there is an over population problem, while in Japan the opposite is true. As of last year Japan has once again reached a record low for their birthrate at only 799,728 births according to an article on CNN’s website. Also stated in the same article, every year since the 1980s Japan’s population has been recorded to be lower and lower. Additionally the post-war death rate has surpassed previous records as well as the birthrate at more than 1.58 million. A large contributor to the deaths is disease, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation a majority of the top 10 causes of death is different types of cancer. While cancer is one of the main contributors there are also a few other health complications such as, Ischemic heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and COPD. While most causes of death in the top 10 are non-communicable disease there is still lower respiratory infection which has held the 4th place spot for quite a while, and self-harm related deaths which currently sits at the bottom.

There are quite a few reasons behind the falling birthrate ranging from the cost to live and lack of child care support. The Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stated Japan is “on the brink of not being able to maintain social functions” and that they “simply cannot wait any longer” to solve the problem regarding the birthrate, also according to CNN. According to BBC, as a method to combat the problem he plans to set up a new government agency around April as well as doubling the amount spent on child related programs. One reason that this information is so devastating for Japan is that as the birth rate declines there will be less people to work and taxpayers to sustain the economy, according to an article located on The Japan Times, Japan has the third largest economy despite having one of the smallest places based on area in comparison to other nations.

There are about 36.27 million elderly people over 65 in Japan

It doesn’t help that a large portion of the Japanese population is comprised of the Elderly and the cost of taking care of them continues to rise as time goes on. They’ve even gone as far as accepting some immigrants to increase the labor force according to The Japan Times. The elderly make up around 29.1% of the population according to a statement by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications found on The Japan Times. Also according to The Japan Times, Japan is also on the top of the list for highest elderly population, they even have a sort of elderly appreciation day. Elderly men make up around 26% of the male Japanese population and elderly women make up around 32% of the female Japanese population, with such a high elderly population it is hard for younger people to both fund the caretaking of the elderly and start their own families which results in less children being born every year. The only plausible solution to take care of the problem is to increase the pay of workers to accommodate for the price of taking care of both elderly and newborns. What do you think could be done to encourage more child birth?