Japanese Population Declined 259,000 Last Year, Biggest Drop in Over 60 Years, as Falling Fertility and Aging Population Trends Gained Speed

Japanese Population Trends Since 1990
Japanese Population Trends Since 1990
Left Vertical Axis and Blue Bars: Year-By-Year Population Increase/Decrease in Tens of Thousands
Horizontal Axis: Year
Right Vertical Axis and Black Line: Total Population of Japan in Hundreds of Millions (1.28 = 128 Million)

Japanese Population Declined 259,000 Last Year, Biggest Drop in Over 60 Years, as Falling Fertility and Aging Population Trends Gained Speed
Yomiuri Shimbun: 総人口、最大の25万人減…少子高齢化が加速
April 17, 2012

The Japanese population declined 259,000 last year to 127,799,000, a decline of 0.2%, according to an estimate the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications made on October 1, 2011 and released this April 17.

This is the largest decline since comparable statistics began to be kept in 1950. The proportion of the population between ages 0-14 declined to a new low of 13.1% while the number of Japanese 65 and over increased to a new high of 23.3%, which shows that falling fertility and aging population trends are advancing.

One substatistic of the study is the “natural movement” of the population, calculated by subtracting the number of deaths from the number of births (and thus excluding immigration and emigration). This year, deaths outnumbered births by 180,000. This is the fifth consecutive year the population naturally decreased. The level of this natural decrease widens year after year, leading the Ministry to comment that the decrease in the nation’s fertility rate and the increase in its citizens’ average age are picking up speed.

Original/原稿:
総人口、最大の25万人減…少子高齢化が加速

 総務省は17日、日本の総人口(日本人と外国人の合計)が前年より25万9000人減少し、1億2779万9000人(前年比0・2%減)になったとする2011年10月1日現在の人口推計を発表した。

 減少幅は、比較可能な統計が残る1950年以降で過去最大。総人口に占める0~14歳の年少人口の割合は13・1%で過去最低となる一方、65歳以上の老年人口の割合は23・3%と過去最高となるなど、少子高齢化の進行が改めて浮き彫りとなっている。

 総人口の内訳のうち、出生児数から死亡者数を差し引いた「自然動態」では、出生児数が過去最低の107万3000人となった。この結果、死亡者数が出生児数を18万人上回った。5年連続の自然減少となり、減少幅も年々拡大していることから、総務省では「少子高齢化の傾向が加速しつつあることの表れだ」と分析している。

(2012年4月17日21時48分 読売新聞)

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