Births in Japan Fall to a New Record Low in the First Half of 2023Society Economy Politics Family
Preliminary demographic statistics released by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show that there were 371,052 births from January to June 2023 in Japan. This figure was 3.6% lower (13,890 fewer births) than the same period the previous year. This is the lowest figure on record since comparable data became available in 2000 and is the second consecutive year that it has fallen below 400,000.
In contrast, the number of deaths increased by 2.6% to 797,716. With the natural decrease in population (the difference between the number of births and deaths) standing at 426,664, there are no signs of a halt to Japan’s population decline.
In 2022, the number of births in Japan was 770,747, which was the first time since records began in 1899 that the figure dropped under 800,000. If there is no significant increase in the second half of 2023, it is very likely the figure for the whole year will hit a new low. Incidentally, marriages, a factor affecting the future number of births, also fell by 7.3% to 246,332 couples in the first half of the year.
The preliminary figures include foreigners residing in Japan and Japanese living overseas. The official figures, to be confirmed at a later date, will only account for Japanese people living in Japan, so will tend to be lower than the preliminary ones.
|First Half of 2023||First Half of 2022|
|Natural population change||-426,664||-392,271|
Created by Nippon.com based on demographic statistics from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.
Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has pledged unprecedented measures to tackle the falling birthrate and the cabinet approved a package of measures for the government’s Children’s Future Strategy Policy in June this year. For a three-year period, starting from 2024, the government plans to secure an annual budget of ¥3.5 trillion, aiming to expand child allowances and reduce the burden of costs for higher education.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)