Births in Japan Slip below 800,000 for 1st Time


Tokyo, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)--The number of babies born in Japan in 2022 slipped below 800,000 for the first time to hit a record low, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The number fell by 43,169, or 5.1 pct, from the previous year to 799,728, the lowest since the ministry started collecting the data in 1899, it said in a preliminary report.

The number of births is falling at a pace faster than the government expected. The ministry's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research estimated in 2017 that the number of newborns, including babies foreign residents gave birth to, would fall below 800,000 for the first time in 2033.

The latest result may have been affected by postwar lows in the number of marriages registered in 2020 and 2021. The coronavirus pandemic and price surges apparently added fuel to the trend to avoid pregnancy.

The pandemic has caused people to worry about giving birth and raising newborns, potentially affecting the number of births, a health ministry official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press