The number of newborn babies in Japan fell to a record low last year. The records suggest the birth rate could decline even further.
The number of babies born in 2020 fell to 840,832, down 2.8 per cent or 24,407 compared to 2019. It is the first time the country has recorded fewer than 900,000 births since records began. The number of newborns falling 9.2 per cent in the January to March period.
The number of registered marriages in Japan has also fallen by 12.3 per cent, to 525,490, a post-war record.
The country’s fertility rate, which is the expected number of births per woman, fell to 1.34. In its capital Tokyo, the birth rate is at 1.13 – the lowest in the country.
The number of births has consistently fallen since 1973. Japan’s shrinking population can be attributed to young people focusing on their careers and abstaining from sex and marriage, while senior citizens are living longer than ever. The age of people giving birth to a child is also increasing, with the average age at the time of a first child being 30.7 years.