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  • Writer's pictureAdam German

Japan deaths more than double births in 2023 preliminary population data

On February 27th, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced the number of births in 2023 (preliminary figure; could be later revised) was 758,631 born; a 5.1% decrease from 2022. 


This marks the eighth consecutive year of birth decline, reaching the lowest level on record. 


Additionally, The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research had previously estimated births would not fall below 760,000 until 2035 meaning the decline is progressing faster than anticipated.


Japan’s population decline exceeded 800,000 for the first time ever with deaths minus births equaling 836,872 people lost.


The number of deaths in the nation reached a record high of 1,595,503, an increase of 8,470 from the previous year, marking the third consecutive annual rise and is more than double the number of 2023 births. 


Actual deaths exceeded 2023 estimates by roughly 100,000 people.


New marriages fell below 500,000 for the first time in 90 years, totaling 489,281 couples in 2023; a decrease of over 30,000 couples from the previous year. 


Without an increase in marriages, a reversal in the declining birth trend is uncertain in conservative Japan where children born out of wedlock are relatively rare.


Divorces in 2023 increased by 2.6% to 187,798 couples, the first rise in four years.


By 2024, it is estimated that over half of Japan’s population will be over 50 years old. 


Source:

Nikkei Shimbun (Japanese only; paywalled)


Nikkei Asia (much shorter English version focusing on falling birth and marriage rates only; paywalled)

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