Japan’s declining birth rate, a concern?

Japan is the third largest economy in the world and has maintained that position for a few decades now. Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with fewer than 800,000 births in 2022 for the first time since records began.

Although it is not the worst in the world, it is still a big concern. Japan had just over 1 million births in 2015, it dropped to under a million in 2016 and it kept on declining rapidly to about 811000 in the year 2021.


There are several factors which might explain this trend according to the Ministry of Health; high cost of living, limited space and lack of child care support in cities, attitude towards marriage and on top of that the pandemic made it even worse.


South Korea has the world’s lowest fertility rate, with data from November 2022 showing a South Korean woman will have an average of 0.79 children, far below the 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population. Japan’s fertility rate is at 1.3, while the United States is at 1.6.


So, what can these countries do to improve the fertility rate of a country which will have a severe impact on its economic policies and standards in the upcoming years. Probably, the government should help couples balance work and family roles to lighten the burden. Lawmakers also proposed new policies to enhance child care services and improve housing facilities for families with children. Although these policies make sense on paper, we have to see how practical they are in real life.


Elon Musk once said, “The biggest threat to humanity is not natural disasters, diseases or AI but it will be population collapse”.




しかし、日本は世界で最も出生率が低い国の 1 つであり、2022年には初めて出生数が80万人を下回りました。