Japan births likely to fall below 900,000 in 2019
NHK -- Dec 26
Japan's welfare ministry estimates that the number of births in the country for the whole of this year will fall below 900,000 for the first time. The decline would be faster than the government's earlier prediction.

The ministry annually estimates the number of births each year based on the figures from January through October.

It says there will likely be 864,000 births this year, the lowest since record keeping began in 1899.

It comes two years earlier than a forecast by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research for births to fall below 870,000.

The estimate is 54,000 fewer than the actual number of births last year. It would be the second-largest year-on-year decline, following 1988-89, when births fell by more than 67,000.

The number of deaths for the whole of this year is forecast to reach 1,376,000, up 14,000 from last year and the highest since the end of World War Two.

The estimated births and deaths would mean a population decline of 512,000, and a 13th consecutive contraction since 2007.

The figure is up 68,000 from last year, and the first to surpass 500,000.

News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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