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Japanese Population Falls by 212,000 in 2012

Japan’s economy has been trapped in malaise for over a decade now, much of it as it has been a scenario not all that different from our own (failed Keynesian stimulus, more new road and infrastructure spending, a bonafide liquidity trap) and one area which has suffered is the number of young people having children to replace those dying off.

Japan is old country — not just in culture — its median age has been increasing steadily with no one in the work force there to replace those who retire and die off.  It’s depressing to watch, it’s fascinating to study if you’re an anthropologist, and it is a scary portent of things to come demographically for America.

In fact, we’re kind of already there, but our nation’s population numbers have been puffed up by immigration (illegal and legal) for the past few decades.

Japan’s population last year declined by 212,000, the biggest drop on record, according to an estimate by the nation’s health ministry.

That’s the largest reduction since the ministry started recording the data in 1947 and a sixth straight year of declines. The number of births fell by 18,000 to a record low of 1.03 million last year, the ministry said.

Baby booms and the economy of the 1950s which warranted them are both long gone.  In fact, it might have been an anomaly to begin with, since only America was unscathed after World War II and had the means to come out of it stronger than when it went in.

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  • dad29

    In fact, the “lost decade” in Japan was almost entirely due to the demographics (and xenophobia–Japan allows ZERO immigration.)

    The older folks aren’t spending b/c they have to live in retirement. The younger ones aren’t spending b/c they have no children to speak of.

    Contra your implied thesis, by the way, population growth assures economic growth (given adherence to the Judaeo-Christian moral heritage.)