Japan's birthrate drops and population declines
NHK -- Jun 02
A new survey shows that Japan's population decline is picking up pace.

The health ministry says the nation's total fertility rate last year was 1.43, down 0.01 from the year before.

The figure represents the average number of children per woman.

Okinawa Prefecture had the highest rate, at 1.94. Tokyo had the lowest, at 1.21.

The number of babies born in Japan last year was about 946,000 -- down 30,000 from the previous year and a record low. The number of deaths was 1.34 million -- up more than 32,000 and the most in postwar Japan. The figures translate to a population decline last year of more than 394,000 -- a record high.

The health ministry attributes the low birthrate to drops in the numbers of women of child-bearing age and marriages.

Ministry officials say they plan to promote measures to support families with children.

News source: NHK
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