Japan 2023 Fertility Rate Hits Record Low of 1.20

Society

Tokyo, June 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's total fertility rate fell to a record low of 1.20 in 2023 from 1.26 in 2022, down for the eighth straight year, the health ministry said Wednesday.

In Tokyo, the total fertility rate, or the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime, stood at 0.99, falling below 1 for the first time in the country.

The annual number of babies born in the country in 2023 fell by 43,482 to a record low of 727,277, also down for the eighth consecutive year, and the natural population decline, or the number of deaths minus that of births, came to a record 848,659, highlighting the continued decline in the country's birthrate and population.

The situation reflects a "complex mix of various factors, such as economic instability and difficulties in balancing work and child-rearing," a ministry official said, adding that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were also seen. "The declining birthrate is at a critical level," the official noted.

By prefecture, the total fertility rate was highest in Okinawa at 1.60, followed by 1.49 each in Miyazaki and Nagasaki. The three lowest figures were 0.99 in Tokyo, 1.06 in Hokkaido and 1.07 in Miyagi.

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Jiji Press