The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research



Do Educational, Income Levels Affect the Number of Children?

Fertility rates in Japan have been declining since the second half of the twentieth century, but little has been reported regarding the number of children across birth cohorts and whether these differ by education and income.

In a paper published in PLoS ONE, Senior Fellow Haruka Sakamoto, Senior Fellow Shuhei Nomura, Senior Fellow Daisuke Yoneoka, Research Director Kenji Shibuya, and other researchers used data from four National Fertility Surveys of men and women aged 40–49 years to assess the number of children and total fertility, examining trends in men and women separately, as well as according to educational level and reported annual income.

Compared to those born in 1943–1948, people born in 1971–1975 with no children increased from 14.3% to 39.9% for men and from 11.6% to 27.6% for women, a trend consistent with a decrease in the share of individuals with two or more children.

Men with a university degree were more likely to have children than those without a degree in all birth cohorts except 1943–1947, and men with higher income were more likely to have children across birth cohorts. Women with a university degree, by contrast, were less likely to have children than those without a university degree, although this was no longer seen among those born in 1971–1975.

“Salaries, degrees, and babies: Trends in fertility by income and education among Japanese men and women born 1943–1975—Analysis of national surveys,” PLoS ONE

Profile of Senior Fellow Haruka Sakamoto

Profile of Senior Fellow Shuhei Nomura

Profile of Senior Fellow Daisuke Yoneoka

Profile of Research Director Kenji Shibuya




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