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Childbearing seems to be in the decrease globally in the developed world.
While we have niche dating apps on our cell phones to net a potential date and perhaps
embark on a relationship, younger generations tend to miss out on the next steps of marriage
and having babies.
Thus many nations are recording lower birth-rate figures, and nowhere is this more noticeable
than in Japan.
But is it just the lack of marriages that is responsible for the drop of 1 million people
in Japan's population statistics?
Or are other factors at play?
From social anxiety, to sex robots, and an aging population, in today's episode of
the Infographic's Show we ask: why is Japan's population decreasing?
Following decades of speculation about its aging population and low birth rate, Japan
released an official census to show her decreasing population in 2015.
Now, in 2018, the population seems to continue to decrease.
A census in 2010 counted the population at 128 million.
This figure is also Japan's peak population figure – it has never risen above this number.
In 2015, the population was 127 million, making the country the tenth-most populous country
at the time.
The latest count, according to worlometers.com, is 127,159,185.
In eight years, the population has shrunk by almost a million people.
This is the first time in the country's history that the population has shrunk.
The figures around the Second World War show a decrease, but this is mainly due to the
displacement of men stationed abroad on military duties during those years.
There seem to be three main reasons behind Japan's decrease in people.
Firstly, Japan's birth rate has dropped considerably.
Secondly, the country has little in the way of immigration to make up that deficit.
And thirdly, Japan has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world.
If you are born in Japan, you can be expected to live to the ripe old age of 85 years, according
to 2016 statistics.
So less people are being born, people are generally living longer, and not many people
from outside countries migrate to Japan.
Japan had a population density in 2011 of 336 people per square mile.
It ranks as the 35th most densely populated country in the world.
75% of Japan's land is made up of mountains, with a forest cover range of 68.5%.
Therefore, 90.7% of Japanese people live in the cities.
2012 data recorded by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
indicates that Japan will keep decreasing by approximately one million each year in
the approaching decades, leaving Japan with a population of 42 million in the year 2110.
In 2060, they have predicted that 40% of the population will be aged over 65 years.
Currently, 20% of the population are aged 65 and older.
So Japan is set to become a country for old men and women.
For a country to sustain growth, a birth rate of 2.1 is required, but Japan's birth rate
stands at about 1.4.
So why aren't Japanese people having children?
Well, a 2013 survey suggested that one-third of Japanese people don't see the point of
marrying and having children.
Historically, marriage has been encouraged.
Recently, however, the country has experienced a shift in social standards with more and
more singletons choosing to remain that way.
The magazine Joshi!
Spa! conducted a survey on the merits of marriage and discovered that 33.5% of the 37,610 surveyed
didn't see any point in tying the knot.
One survey subject noted, “If you are single, you can use your money exactly as you like,
and no matter how much you spend on your hobbies or interests, no one will complain, and you
can live at your own pace.
But if you get married, all that disappears, so I really want to ask, honestly, is there
any merit to getting married?”
The survey showed the largest age group who were not interested in getting hitched at
40.5% were in their 30s, but teens were also hesitant, with 38% of teens having no interest
in getting married.
Cultural change is partly the reason for this population decrease and lack of baby-making.
Previous generations bore children in their mid to late 20s, while the current generation
wait until they have a solid career.
Japanese people nowadays tend to have kids in their 30s rather than their 20s.
More Japanese women have a career nowadays, so the traditional family model has changed
in Japan - as it has in most developed countries around the world.
There is also a tradition of women looking for men who are in full time employment with
strong careers.
Many of the men in these positions are no longer looking to provide for others.
There is definitely a lone wolf philosophy emerging.
Men and women seem to be content choosing their own paths and providing for themselves.
Then we have what the Japanese call Sekkusu Shinai Shokogun or “celibacy syndrome.”
The under 40s in Japan seem to be losing interest not just in marriage but in relationships
in general.
Millions of Japanese don't date, and can't be bothered with personal contact.
The number of single people recorded in a 2011 survey numbered 61% of unmarried men
and 49% of women who were not in any kind of relationship.
Another study found that a third of people under the age of 30 had never dated at all.
The Japan Family Planning Association discovered that 45% of women aged 16-24 “were not interested
in or despised sexual contact.”
Over a quarter of men were equally squeamish when it comes to matters of the opposite sex.
Japanese sex therapist Ai Aoyama said in a Guardian article of October 2013 that Japan's
great cities are “spiraling away from each other” and that people are turning to what
she terms “Pot Noodle Love” – easy or instant gratification.
This might be a casual sexual hook-up in a love hotel.
Or, more frequently, a technological fix in the shape of online pornography, virtual-reality
'girlfriends,' or sex dolls.
Ai Aoyama goes on to explain that some of her clients are recovering from hikikomori
(or reclusion.)
Some have become otaku (aka geeks) and others parasaito shingurus (or parasite singles.)
Of the estimated 13 million unmarried people in Japan who live with their parents, about
3 million of those are above the age of 35.
The 40-year-old virgin is a real concept in Japan.
“A few people can't relate to the opposite sex physically or in any other way.
They flinch if I touch them,” Aoyama explains.
She goes on further to tell the reporter that most of those who suffer from this incredible
shyness are men, but she is starting to see more women terrified of the opposite sex,
as well.
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Create that amazing website that you've been thinking about, and support the INFOGAPHICS show at the same time
by going to WIX.com/go/INFOGRAPHICS or by clicking the link in the description.
So, why do you think Japan's population is decreasing?
And are people around the world generally choosing not to have families?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Also, be sure to check out our other video called Taboos Around the World!
Thanks for watching, and, as always, don't forget to like, share, and subscribe.
See you next time!
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Japan's Population Problem

1205 Folder Collection
Samuel published on September 10, 2018
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