The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare says the the number of babies born in Japan during 2014 was the lowest since population data collection began.
In figures released Friday, the ministry said 1,003,532 babies were born in 2014, about 26,000 fewer than in 2013. It was the lowest number of births ever recorded since population statistics started being kept in 1899, Fuji TV reported. The total fertility rate, which is the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime, declined 0.01 points to 1.42, the ministry added.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths in 2014 was the highest in postwar Japan, at 1,273,020. When the death and birth rates are calculated against each other, the overall population dropped by approximately 270,000 people.
The recent statistics indicate the most extreme drop in population since the decline began nearly eight years ago, the ministry said.
A ministry spokesperson said the data only highlights the urgency that the government must deal with the very real issue of the population decline.© Japan Today