New data confirms the number of children in Japan is only continuing to decline.
At the beginning of each fiscal year, Japan’s Ministry of Internal affairs wraps up its population estimate, which is then released as public information on the Statistic Bureau’s website in early May. These population estimates are carried out in addition to the national Population Census taken every five years, and then adjusted afterwards for accuracy.
The most recent of these estimates, released on May 4, revealed that, once again, the number of children in the Japan has decreased, signifying a 35-year continuous decline in the population and the percentage of the population that children make up since 1981.
Estimate figures are calculated by taking the base population and subtracting the number of birth/deaths, immigrants, people who have moved between prefectures or abroad, and increase by change of nationality (Japanese).
As you can see from the graphs and charts above, the number of children has decreased by 150,000 since April 2015. Meanwhile, over the past year, the number of citizens 65 years of age or older has risen by 810,000, or a 0.6 percent population make-up increase.
The result is another 150,000-person decrease in the population since last year. While not much lower, that still reflects a falling population trend, and is cause for concern due to the rising numbers of elderly and retired citizens.
Of course these findings are only one of many that highlight possible problems Japan could face in the future, such as possible extinction. Admittedly, predictions that Japanese people face extinction might be a bit of a stretch, but one sad result of the country’s shrinking population and changing society is that in the near future many Japanese traditional arts and crafting techniques, with no one to carry them on, actually are on the verge of extinction. Hopefully before this happens Japan can turn the boat around. After all, it’d be a shame if the country were no longer able to give us all the cool, strange, and inspiring news and technology we love.