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Originally posted by vox2442
IT's the same reason as Canada and Europe, really - post war baby boom, followed by a period of affluence. Those people had fewer kids - and their kids look to be following in their footsteps.
The lynchpin for Japan is immigration. Other countries have been able to attract and keep people to keep the population numbers up somewhat. Japan is more difficult, largely because of the language barrier. Most people don't study Japanese while growing up, so it's not the first choice on their list for somewhere to immigrate to.
If you can have children, you should have one for your husband, one for the wife and one for the country.
Japan's population began to sag after the first oil crisis in the early 1970s, with the total fertility rate (the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime) dropping below two. But changes in population are of course governed not only by births but also by deaths. The continued rise in Japanese people's life expectancy, needless to say, also contributed to population growth. However, the total fertility rate has now come down to 1.32. If the trend continues, it is estimated that Japan's population will shrink to 130,000 in 500 years and total a mere 130 in 1,000 years' time, which means that the Japanese will be virtually extinct. In order for Japan's population to hold steady among generational groups, the total fertility rate must be 2.07, assuming the current death rate remains unchanged. The current total fertility rate of 1.32 is far below that level.