Steady-State Economy

February 13, 2007


Japanese Birth Rate Hits Record Low in 2005

Keywords: Government Steady-State Economy 

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR)* in Japan hit a record low of 1.26 in 2005, falling from the previous year's all-time low of 1.29, according to a report released on November 30, 2006 by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

In 2005, 1,062,530 babies were born in Japan, a decrease of 48,191 over the previous year's figure of 1,110,721. Broken down by age of mothers (five-year age brackets), the number of births for women aged 29 or younger continued to fall, while that for women aged 35 or older increased, following the trend seen in 2004. In contrast, the number of babies born to women aged 30-34 declined for the first time after years of increase. By prefecture, Okinawa had the highest TFR of 1.72, followed by 1.50 for Fukui and Shimane. The lowest TFR was seen in Tokyo (1.00).

The birthrate in Japan has been plummeting for decades. The TFR dropped below 3.0 in 1952, followed by a further decrease to 2.05 in 1974, which was the last year to exceed the 2.0 level. The rate even dipped below 1.5 in 1994, and has continued to show a downward trend.

*Total Fertility Rate (or Total Period Fertility Rate) is the most commonly used indicator of fertility. It is defined as the sum of age-specific fertility rates of women aged 15-49 during a given year. It corresponds to the number of children born to a woman if the current year's age-specific birthrates did not change during her childbearing years.

Posted: 2007/02/13 09:48:31 AM
Japanese version