The number of children in Japan has fallen to a new low, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said Monday. As of April 1, there were an estimated 16.17 million children aged 15 and under, down 160,000 from a year earlier.
It was the 34th straight annual decline and the lowest level since records began in 1950, according to the ministry.
The ministry released the figures ahead of Children's Day on Tuesday.
Children accounted for 12.7% of the population, with 8.28 million boys and 7.88 million girls, the ministry said.
Tokyo was the only prefecture to register an increase in the number of children -- up by 14,000, the ministry said.
Of major countries with a population of at least 40 million, Japan had the lowest ratio of children to the total population -- compared with 19.5% for the United States and 16.4% for China.© Japan Today/AFP