Japan’s population in the next 100 years will be cut by more than half to 51 million people, or about the same number now in California and Ohio, a forecast says.
The Asian country is trying to boost its birth rate, but that won’t stop a 31 percent decline to 88 million people by 2065 and a 60 percent drop by 2115, the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research says.
“The figures show a population decline is set to transform Japan unless Tokyo opts for large-scale immigration, given decades of low birth rates since the 1960s,” according to the Financial Times, which cites the study. “But while the long-term picture remains gloomy, the latest forecasts show a modestly slower pace of decline, as women in their thirties choose to have more babies.”
Japan’s population is estimated to fall below 100 million by 2053, instead of 2048, the research says.
“If the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe succeeds in providing better child care and making it easier to combine family with work, the future population could be higher,” according to the FT. “Abe has set a target total fertility rate of 1.8 births per woman.” The fertility rate is currently 1.4, and needs to reach 2 or more to replace the existing population.
Japan will need to allow immigration of more than 500,000 a year, or 10 times the current level, to stabilize its population around the current level, the study says.
“Japan mainly allows immigration for students or guest workers, most of whom return to their country of origin after a few years,” the FT reports.
Younger generations of Japanese people are avoiding sex and relationships, the NIPSSR said in September. Professional ambitions for men and women have people delaying marriage and child-rearing, similar to other industrialized countries.
“A survey of Japanese people aged 18 to 34 found that almost 70 percent of unmarried men and 60 percent of unmarried women are not in a relationship,” the Japan Times reported. “Around 42 percent of the men and 44.2 percent of the women admitted they were virgins.”