Japan’s infant population has reached an all-time high after falling for 40 consecutive years, according to government data on Tuesday, providing further evidence of the country’s aging population.
The number of children aged 14 and under stood at 14.93 million as of April 1, around 190,000 fewer than a year earlier and the lowest figure among comparable data available since 1950, according to the Ministry of Interior and Communications.
The proportion of children in the overall population has also fallen to its lowest point – 11.9% – after 47 consecutive years of decline.
Japan has the lowest rate among the 33 countries with a population of over 40 million, below 12.2% for South Korea and 13.3% for Italy, according to the United Nations Population Yearbook.
The ministry said there are 7.65 million boys and 7.28 million girls.
Children under 2 made up 2.65 million of the total, relatively lower than other age groups and reflecting a decline in the number of births, the ministry said.
The infant population in Japan peaked in 1954 at 29.89 million. It briefly recovered in the early 1970s, but has continued to decline since 1982.
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