The estimated child population in Japan has decreased for the 42nd consecutive year, hitting a record low, according to government data released on Thursday.
The number of children aged 14 or younger, including foreign children, was 14.35 million as of April 1, down by approximately 300,000 from the previous year, with the ratio of children to Japan’s overall population being 11.5 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point.
The government created the Children and Families Agency last month to oversee child care policies, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is calling for “unprecedented” measures to boost the birthrate. Japan has the lowest child population ratio among 36 countries with a population of over 40 million, according to UN data.
The data also shows a continuing trend of fewer children among younger demographics, with 2.43 million children under the age of two and 3.21 million children between 12 and 14