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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Children in Japan at Historic Low

OK, I'm starting back slowly. Various news sources today pick up on info (which I can't find original source back-up for) about Japan's diminishing child population:

More proof that the birthrate is dropping steadily: There were 150,000 fewer children under 15 on April 1 in Japan than there were last April 1, marking the 24th consecutive annual drop in the figure, according to the internal affairs ministry.

The statistics, announced just before today-Children's Day-show there were 17.65 million children under age 15 on April 1. Of them, 9.04 million were boys and 8.6 million were girls.

As a segment of the total population, Japan's 13.8 percent for the 0-14 age bracket is among the lowest in the world.

That figure, on the decline now for 31 consecutive years, is 0.1 percentage point lower than last year in Japan. By prefecture, Tokyo had the smallest population ratio in the 0-14 age bracket, at 12 percent; Okinawa had the highest, at 18.6 percent. (Those figures were as of Oct. 1, 2004.)

Among other countries, the percentage for the 0-14 age bracket was: 21.5 percent in China; 20.7 percent in the United States; 20.3 percent in South Korea; 16.4 percent in Russia; and 14.7 percent in Germany.

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