Japan Reports Record Low Number of Births in 2020Health Family Society
Preliminary data on demographic trends in Japan released by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show that the number of births in 2020 decreased by 25,917 year on year, to 872,683 in total, marking a record low. The data includes Japanese living overseas as well as foreigners living in Japan, so the final confirmed number of births for Japanese nationals living in Japan will be even smaller. It is expected to be significantly lower than that for 2019, which was 865,239.
In addition, the number of pregnancy notifications received by local governments nationwide for the period between January and October 2020 was down year on year by 5.1%. It seems that unease about the possibility of COVID-19 infection has led to fewer pregnancies, which will likely mean an acceleration in the decline in childbirths in 2021.
Meanwhile, even though the number of annual deaths among the population had been on an upward trend as society ages, preliminary statistics show that deaths in 2020 decreased year on year by 9,373, for a total of 1,384,544, marking the first decline in 11 years.
The most recently released figures on cause of death for the period of January to September 2020 show that respiratory diseases claimed far fewer lives than in 2019, with deaths from pneumonia down by 12,456 and deaths from influenza decreasing by 2,313. The reason seems to be that the measures taken to prevent COVID-19 infections, such as wearing masks and disinfecting hands, have had benefits in preventing other infectious diseases.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)