Average Cost of Childbirth in Japan Reaches Nearly ¥500,000Society Lifestyle
A Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare survey found that the average cost of giving birth in fiscal 2022 was ¥482,294 (in cases of normal births). This was an increase of ¥8,979 year on year, and the cost has risen by ¥65,000 over the past 10 years.
The survey was conducted from July to August 2023, targeting approximately 2,300 medical institutions and midwifery centers dealing with childbirth, with a response rate of 80% or 1,742 facilities.
In Japan, normal childbirth is not covered by public medical insurance, and medical institutions are free to set their own prices. On average, the cost for delivery was ¥463,450 at a public hospital and ¥506,264 at a private hospital, not including such extras as the cost of a private bed or special congratulatory meal. Meanwhile, the average price at clinics (including midwifery centers) was ¥478,509. The average among all institutions is ¥482,294.
In April 2023, the government increased the lump-sum childbirth benefit from ¥420,000 to ¥500,000.
Childbirth fees were increased at 44.5% of all facilities in the period between April 2022 and April 2023. Moreover, 26.3% reported that they have plans to increase fees in the future, and 27.6% said they were under consideration. The top reason for the increases, cited by more than 80% of the facilities, was soaring costs for utilities and consumables. Other factors often mentioned were the soaring prices of medical equipment and rising wages for medical staff due to labor shortages.
The highest price for childbirth by prefecture was ¥605,261 in Tokyo, while Kumamoto Prefecture had the lowest price, at ¥361,184, for a difference of more than ¥240,000. For the cost of childbirth at public hospitals, Tokyo was again the most expensive, at ¥562,390, while Tottori Prefecture was the cheapest, at ¥359,287.
In the case of normal delivery, the national average cost including a private bed and non-medical expenses (such as a celebratory meal) was ¥545,797. The breakdown of these costs is shown in the graph above. Around 50% of the total, or ¥282,424, consisted of the cost of the delivery itself, including fees for the doctor or midwife and for nursing care during the delivery. The cost of staying at the hospital, including the bed and meals, totaled ¥118,326, while the average cost for tests, medication, and other medical treatment or care for newborns was ¥50,052.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)