The world is running out of Japanese people

Japan population is dramatically shrinking fast.

In the 1970s, Japanese women on average had 2.1 kids. However, today that number is only 1.4 — far below the replacement rate, or the rate at which Japan would maintain its population.The health ministry recently announced that only 946,060 babies were born in Japan in 2017, the fewest births since official statistics began in 1899. At the same time, 1,340,433 Japanese people died last year. This means that the non-immigrant population declined by nearly 400,000 people.

It’s the lowest level since the country began counting in 1899. During this demographic time bomb, fertility rates fall, even the coupling rate is down at the same time that longevity increases.

The blame has long been put on Japan’s young people, who are accused of not having enough sex, and on women, who, the narrative goes, put their careers before thoughts of getting married and having a family. But there’s another, simpler explanation for the country’s low birth rate, one that has implications for the U.S.: Japan’s birth rate may be falling because there are fewer good opportunities for young people, and especially men, in the country’s economy. In a country where men are still widely expected to be breadwinners and support families, a lack of good jobs may be creating a class of men who don’t marry and have children because they—and their potential partners—know they can’t afford to.

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