Demographic Shock Ground Zero: Japan Births Drop Below Million For The First Time On Record

Tyler Durden's picture

While both global monetary and fiscal policies struggle to keep aggregate demand if not rising, then at least constant, demographics continues to wreak havoc on the best laid plans of central planners around the rapidly aging world. Just last week we reported that in 2016, the US population grew at the slowest pace since the Great Depression, largely driven by the collapse in household formation as the number of Millennials living at home with their parents has hit a 75 year high.

However, while the US is finally starting to feel the social, political and economic hit from an aging population, nowhere is the demographic impact more visible than in what is the epicenter of the developed world's demographic problems: Japan. It is here that according to the latest government data, the number of births in Japan is likely to fall below a million this year for the first time since data became available in 1899, reflecting a fast-ageing society and the high cost of child care.

The number of births is estimated at 981,000 this year, down from slightly more than a million last year, data from the ministry showed. Births hit a record high of 2.696 million in 1949.

Japan will also post a natural population decline this year as deaths outpace births, its 10th consecutive drop, as seen by the light blue line in the chart above.

A shrinking population of women in their 20s and 30s is a key factor in the falling number, a ministry official said. Japan's fertility rate was 1.45 in 2015, up 0.03 points from a year earlier, helped by an economic recovery, and is recovering from the record low of 1.26 hit in 2005. However, it is still far from the government's goal of 1.80.

On Thursday, Japan's cabinet approved a record $830 billion spending budget for fiscal 2017, which includes child-rearing support: at this rate, the local population may not need the free money in the not too distant future. The only hope, as in the case of many European nations, is that a surge in immigration will offset the natural decline of the domestic population whose average age has never been higher.

Meanwhile, after peaking at the start of the decade, Japan's total population of 126.92 million is back to the where it was at the start of the century and declining fast.

* * *

Courtesy of Mizuho, here are some further observations on Japan's demographic plight, and an amusing tangent where according to the Tokyo-based bank, Japan is now also fabricating demographic data to obfuscate the full severity of the demographic situation:

Summary and macroeconomic implications:

The total population of Japan was 126.92m in December 2016 (down 160,000 or 0.13% YoY). With statistical disconnects set to continue, it appears likely that users of population data for 2010–2015 will be kept in the statistical shade (there appears to be little will to conduct statistical revisions by bureau authorities). An increase in the foreign population has been especially conspicuous in areas such as Tokyo, with such increases partially offsetting natural declines. It will be interesting to see the degree to which trends in the foreign population are reflected in new population projection released after the end of January 2017. We have already noted that the Nikkei newspaper ran an article on its front page titled “Japanese births set to drop below 1m in 2016” on 22 December, and while this is an issue we have previously discussed in our reports, we will be focusing on reactions and measures undertaken by the authorities and politicians.

Disconnect in population statistics continues: population data for 2010–2015 to be kept in the statistical shade?

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ population estimates, the total population of Japan as of December 2016 was 126.92m (down 0.13%, or 160,000, YoY; see Figures 1 and 2).

Japan’s population statistics have reflected figures from the 2015 national census survey fully since October 2015, but estimates were based on figures from the 2010 national census survey in September 2015 and months prior, with this statistical disconnect to be allowed to stand without any retroactive revisions taking place. In essence, this means that the population is not falling by as much as expected and that previous population statistics can be assumed to be mistaken. According to Statistics Bureau authorities, there will be no retroactive revision of statistics and the statistical disconnect will live on in population statistics between October 2010 and September 2015.

This is a regrettable outcome both for users of the statistical data sets and policymakers involved in demographic planning. With the complementary correction value directly applicable only to the total population, we note that attribute-level data for this period have been rendered unsuitable for time series analyses. The total population on a seasonally adjusted basis (using the complementary correction value) declined 28,000 MoM in December (see Figure 5).

People aged 65 and over accounted for 27.32% of the total population in December, up 0.58ppt YoY, while the ratio of people aged 15–64 came to 60.27% (down 0.46ppt) and the ratio of people aged 0–14 came to 12.41% (down 0.11ppt)

We note that the net number of marriages (number of marriages – number of divorces) between August 2015 and July 2016 came to 413,000 (up 5,000), and while a decline in the number of divorces was the main factor here, we nevertheless note signs of a bottoming out in this data point. We will be following this as a leading indicator for the number of births moving forward.

We also note that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government released new population projection on 29 November. Tokyo’s population for 2015 was projected at 13.35m based on March 2013 population projection (according to National Institute of Population and Social Security Research), but in the event ended 150,000 above this at 13.49m. The updated stats also suggest a population of 13.98m in 2025, 800,000 above the previous projection (13.18m) (see Figure 11).

This research institute will be releasing new population projection from January 2017, but it will also be interesting to see how the “population pessimists” react thereafter. One of the main points of focus will be whether materials are updated using population data altered to reflect new estimates and statistical anomalies or whether there is a naïve ongoing use of old estimates. The upside being seen in Tokyo’s population stats has come about mainly as a result of prolonged lifespans and increases in the foreign population (which is growing at an annual rate of above 30,000) (see Figure 12).

There have been substantial net increases in the number of Chinese, Southeast Asians (especially Vietnamese), and South Asians (especially Nepalese) settling in Tokyo (see Figure 13).

* * *

Which is good news for the millions of Middle-eastern and north-African refugees who have suddenly found themselves "undesirable" in Europe: well, if Germany won't have them, then surely Japan's PM Abe will welcome them with open arms.

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knukles's picture

Oft forgotten truism of economics.
The single greatest driver is demographics.
All else come thereafter.


Tallest Skil's picture

This is GENOCIDE. This is PLANNED. This is what is happening to the Western world, as well. It's psychological programming designed to INHIBIT BIRTHS.


dark fiber's picture

But Japan is doing none of that.  I think  at a certain point people just say fuck you and your system in ways government has zero control over.  This is what the Japanese are doing.

----_-'s picture
----_- (not verified) dark fiber Dec 25, 2016 2:51 PM

false. they adapted the system in 1945 becuase they know htler would lose the war.

ever since it was a jurney of printing money and birth rate crash.



(and krugmann is not forgotten)

Nemontel's picture

Fiat money printing and free resources are the main reason why the birthrate is so low in developed nations.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) ----_- Dec 25, 2016 11:27 PM

Japan: We don't want immigrants.

Japan: We got robots

Japan: Smart


Fudomyo's picture

The problem is the 2% economic growth model doesn't work. The post war baby booms actually created too many people, so Japan is returning to a normal level for the size of the country. If the US and Europe contracted naturally too without letting every mouth breather into the country to create more consumers and tax payers, the quality of life would increase. Automation will cover off menial labor. The biggest thing standing in the way are shareholder returns and bloated government. 

General Titus's picture

The US, & most of Europe is one generation behind Japan thanks to the Global Bolshevik Agenda

Paul Kersey's picture

Wish I could speak Japanese like a native, because Japan is a very civilized place to live. Everyone is educated, few are violent, one doesn't need a car, and the country's workers have a sense of pride in the jobs they do, even the jobs they do in the service sector.

I feel like I'm being crowded out of what was once a great small town, and would love to see a little population shrinkage. As the population here grows, the quality of life here diminishes.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Paul Kersey Dec 25, 2016 11:34 PM

I hear people say they like Japan, I've been there 3 times.

I respect them but I would never want to live there, don't want to visit there even.

I do not like the Orient, must have had a very bad past life there.

My father hated them, musta had something to do with them shooting at his plane during WWll.

CC Lemon's picture

I've been living in Japan for almost 10 years. Don't plan to stay permanent, I'll eventually leave back to the states, where I'm from. What I'll miss:


Super safe

very few loudmouths in public

few things ever get stole

girls are femine and ALWAYS dress well when they go out

pollite (albeit memorized) behavior even from garbage collectors

efficient transportation system

police are pretty tame, most ignore me (fear of needing to speak English)

many more



Mine Is Bigger's picture

The Japanese government does not pay as generously as its Western counterparts when it comes to single parents and low-income families. The country's traditional job-for-life system practically guranteed that anyone who is willing to put in decent efforts at work able to make enough for supporting a family. But the globalization and the Westernization, especially the efforts pushed under the names of deregulation and reform during the Koizumi era, destroyed that system. Yet, the social safety net has not caught up with this reality.

A lot of Japanese people are simply not making enough to feel confident that they can raise a family. Japanese being a people who think well and hard about 10 years or longer into the future, many of them decide not to bring children into the world if they are not sure they can give their kids a decent life.

gaoptimize's picture

I would like to fill up a house with one of those heavilly lactacting Japanese women.  If I make it to longevity escape velocity, that's what I plan to do.  It is sad to see the Japanese decline, like the Elves diminishing and going into the West.

ipso_facto's picture

'It is sad to see the Japanese decline, like the Elves diminishing and going into the West.'  Post-WWII propaganda aside, the Japanese were the most purely evil occupiers of the Second World War.

GreatUncle's picture

+1 ... no point playing the game if there is no chance of you ever winning.

The western economies have had 8 years of crap and people have been continually losing worth and it is becoming engrained in the minds of people no matter how hard you try you cannot win. So why play the game? That's your point and correct I do believe.

A pincer movement though without that the growth will taper off supplemented by CTRL-P by central banks making it worse, but the worst is coming with the rapid growth of children even as adults never able to accrue any assets the future consumption in 20 years relying on this concept is going to tank big time. That period of collapse once it starts is now going to last the equivalent to the last 8 years and extending into the future while the current situation continues.

So at most in 20 years the effect of the last 8 years is going to hit, more brutal than anyone can imagine.

The CB's always figured if the value of house went up then people would feel wealthy enough and consume but that number if you cannot get onto the ladder to begin with that future consumption will not exist.

I may be wrong, but somehow I don't think so.


dark fiber's picture

Well Japan has had more than 20 years for the shit we have been getting here the past 8.  If this is a guide, then we will have the same problems as Japan 20 years down the line, at least the white population.

BarkingCat's picture

White population in the US is already dropping.

Even without immigration the other races are multiplying quicker. Additionally large percentage of whites (mostly women) are reproducing with other races.

Even those whites that reproduce above replacement rates are mostly those that you do not really want to. They are from the FSA segment of the population and on the lower end of the intelligence band.

Tallest Skil's picture

>>But Japan is doing none of that.

Are you blind? That's exactly what has been done to them.

>>I think  at a certain point people just say fuck you and your system in ways government has zero control over.

So your claim is that they're committing suicide because... "lol that will show them"? Get help.

Nobody For President's picture

On an individual basis, a lot of peoplel who commit suicide, especially young people, do it to 'show them'; with them being all kinds of different folks: parents, girlfriend, boyfriend, classmates, etc.

mary mary's picture

Sounds like you WANT government to control all your neighbors.  Why?

Cheka_Mate's picture
The last man of the world-city no longer wants to live he may cling to life as an individual, but as a type, as an aggregate, no, for it is a characteristic of this collective existence that it eliminates the terror of death. That which strikes the true peasant with a deep and inexplicable fear, the notion that the family and the name may be extinguished, has now lost its meaning. The continuance of the blood-relation in the visible world is no longer a duty of the blood, and the destiny of being the last of the line is no longer felt as a doom. Children do not happen, not because children have become impossible, but principally because intelligence at the peak of intensity can no longer find any reason for their existence. The primary woman, the peasant woman, is mother. The whole vocation towards which she has yearned from childhood is included in that one word. But now emerges the Ibsen woman, the comrade, the heroine of a whole megalopolitan literature from Northern drama to Parisian novel. Instead of children, she has soul-conflicts; marriage is a craft-art for the achievement of "mutual understanding." It is all the same whether the case against children is the American lady's who would not miss a season for anything, or the Parisienne's who fears that her lover would leave her, or an Ibsen heroine's who "belongs to herself" they all belong to themselves and they are all unfruitful At this level all Civilizations enter upon a stage, which lasts for centuries, of appalling depopulation. The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms, and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured into the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains, alive, but robbed of its strongest and most promising elements.
GooseShtepping Moron's picture

Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West.

I've been quoting that book for 15 years. One of my favorites.

mary mary's picture


It is not genocide.  It is not planned.  It is revolution against central planners.

And flooding the world with extra billions of humans will only enslave your descendants.

My god!  The only reason the USA Founding Fathers had to give Americans the Bill of Rights was that there were few enough people in North America that, if Americans decided "their" governors were dumping too many rules on them, they could walk away and go live with the Indians, which at any given time many were doing.

As for Europeans, they were stripped of all dignity and sense that they had any "personal rights" in the Dark Ages, and never recovered.  THAT is why they are now acting like cowards, allowing the Rothschild bankers to flood them with foreign terrorists.

Lynx Dogood's picture

Is that before or after made up charts?

General Titus's picture

(At) some time the Anglo-Saxon may awaken to the fact that …….the non-jewish nations are shoved into wars in order to destroy themselves, to break up their structure, to destroy their social order, to destroy their populations.

Ezra Pound 1942

Swamp Yankee's picture

They can't keep stuffing that island forever.  At some point they will have reach some point of equlibrium; why not now?


Merry Good  Year.  -SY

root superuser's picture

Its way past equilibrium. Remove the oil imports and half population will perish. USA and Europe as well.

auricle's picture

No problem, they will use debt to make up the difference. /s

Handful of Dust's picture

At least they are not importing hundreds of thousands of terrorists to compensate. How about incentivizing th homogenous population they already have? Japan is still one of the most beautiful countries on earth and safe!

Wilcox1's picture

I wanna be  there when he does the arm opening ceremony

----_-'s picture
----_- (not verified) Dec 25, 2016 2:38 PM

planned genocide

OutinTheopen's picture

No. It's a case of accidental auto-genocide. An experiment in affluence gone wrong.

----_-'s picture
----_- (not verified) OutinTheopen Dec 25, 2016 4:02 PM

no. its a planned genocide committed and forced upon in 1945 by the states.

the japanese had no choice but to adapt the system and surrender.


what they said is: ok guys we shoot ourselves.

OutinTheopen's picture

Well, in 1943 they composed a self-assured plan for themselves about how their superior Yamato race was destined to rule Asia. Unfortunately for them their glorious destiny never came to fruition. Their imperial policies were based on a strange combination of Shintoism and a might-is-right philosophy, a sort of Esoteric Darwinism with Japanese characteristics. In light of that the fate of Japan was rather ironic: in a battle for survival they weren't the fittest.

stant's picture

How the world ends . With a whimper and depends

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

This is good news ... it means even Japan's Central Bank hasn't found a way yet to print babies.

DEMIZEN's picture

I am really puzzled why there is so much confusion with correlation attempts of demographic rates. It is plain stupid simple and has nothing to do with religion.

offspring is a type of insurance for old age. In society where you have generous social security, natality rate will be low and vice versa.  The easiest way to demonstrate is to observe immigrants, keeping the religion and cultural imprint the same. The only reason for first gen of immigrants higher natality are wide gaps in economic integration rates. less old age security, more kids to compensate for.

take away old age insurance - social security and you will experience demographic boom. simple. The japanese case is obvious and solutions self evident. It is all about the money and it always was.

DrZipp's picture

How about have more than 1 child and don't pay taxes until your last child is 25.

Or maybe a ban on tentacle porn.

canisdirus's picture

Under those rules, I'd gladly have two.

Publicus's picture

Japan is shit, that's why they don't have gfs.

groaner's picture
groaner (not verified) Dec 25, 2016 2:50 PM

You know what's sick??.. Who's behind the creation of Sex Robots now?? I wonder.. hmm. Now instead having normal realtions between a man and women, they will pervert it.

scoutshonor's picture

At what point in time have relations between men and women ever been anything even approaching normal?

mary mary's picture

Groaning turns some people on.  Did you HAVE TO choose that name?

Robert Trip's picture

I was in Tokyo 2 summers ago and you could feel the microwaves pulsing through your head from those towers they have every 2 blocks so the Japs can have shit plugged into their ears and heads 24/7

That's why they don't want to fuck and have kids.

OutinTheopen's picture

What the Japanese people need is a good and healthy war to cure them of their decadence. (I think Abe might already be playing with this thought.) The same holds for Europeans castrated by over-consumption and the safety of social democracy.

There’s really no better cure for sterility caused by peace-time emasculation than large-scale organized violence in the name of some grandiose nationalist cause. When nations were at each other's throats birth-rates were excellent. Sex and violence are intimately connected.

Fighting reignites the animal spirits and releases the beast inside. The bestial urges stirred on by aggression will lead to a higher birth rate. The millions of souls lost on the battlefields will eventually be compensated for in this way.

In case the war is lost and the nation utterly destroyed historians can at least record that it went down with a virile bang instead of a limp weenie whimper.

----_-'s picture
----_- (not verified) OutinTheopen Dec 25, 2016 5:59 PM

disagree. venezuela had no war and went from 5 million ot 36 million in just less than 50 years.

what you are talking about has some bases i support, but in case you are sirious its just rubbish.

and big bangs had the silly nazis. their still regret it.


unless they become smart they will get only shit

mary mary's picture

Wealth is natural resources, not people.  Fewer people, more wealth per person.  Japanese have figured that out.

pitz's picture

Smart people can't afford to reproduce anymore.  In the 50s, it was Doctors with 5+ kids, and the big station wagon to haul them around.  Today doctors are so buried in student debt that they can barely afford to have a single kid before they're rendered infertile due to age.  The 'breeders' of today are largely lower-class societal dependants.