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May 06, 2004

Young Population Still Shrinking

The number of people under the age of 15 fell by a further 200,000 last year, according to a survey released yesterday by the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications. The drop to 13.9% of the total population marks the 30th consecutive year of decline and is the lowest of all G7 countries. The total of 17.81 million children, made up of 9.13 million boys and 8.68 million girls, continues a 23-year falling trend. Considered in 3-year age groups, the numbers grow smaller with reducing age, with 0 to 2-year olds making up only 3.44 million. From a regional perspective, the lowest numbers were seen in Tokyo (12% of the total population) and the highest in Okinawa (19%). The national figure was around 30% up to the 1950s, but went into decline when the postwar baby bom ended in the 1970s. The percentage of kids was overtaken by the number for people over 65 in the 1990s. Comparing the overall percentage with that of other G7 countries, in the US it is 21%, the UK, France and Canada are around 18%, Germany has about 15% and Italy 14%. (from an Asahi.com article)
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