JAPAN’S population has fallen by nearly one million in the past five years – its first decline since official census records began in the 1920s.
According to the country’s 2015 census, which was released today, the population shrank by 947,000 people in the period from 2010 to 2015.
Japan’s population numbered at 127.1 million people last year – down 0.7 percent from 128.1 million in 2010.
The country’s low birth rate has the government concerned, as projections show that the population decline could accelerate in coming decades.
The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research published corroborating data showing that Japan’s population is expected to fall from 127 million to 92 million over the next 40 years.
Additionally, the World Factbook listed Japan’s total fertility rates (TFR) – the average number of children a woman bears over her lifetime – at an estimated 1.4 children per woman in 2015, which is below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.
Top demographic experts in the country have warned that the “recovery” in Japan’s birth rate from 2005 was merely a statistical quirk and not reflective of an actual upward trend in childbearing.
The census, which is taken every five years, also found that the population of Tokyo has grown 2.7 percent since 2010 to 13.5 million.
Additional reporting by Associated Press.