Low Wages and Non-Regular Employment May Be to Blame for Japan’s Population Decline
Japan celebrated its Respect for the Aged Day in September with a record number of elderly people—as well as record new lows of the number of newborns. This has been called a “quiet emergency,” with the population shrinking last year at its fastest pace to 125.93 million people with a fertility rate of just 1.3.
The Straits Times quoted a research paper (Japanese only) by Senior Fellow Haruka Sakamoto that points out that real factors behind Japan’s demographic woes—more than changing lifestyles or preference for freedom—are structural problems that have hurt the desire for dating, marriage, and child-rearing, such as stagnating wages and the prevalence of “non-regular” contract employment offered by companies.
This is backed, she notes, by studies that have shown that the higher the income, the more likely both men and women are to get married and have children.
“Stable Employment Key to Solving Japan’s Baby Crisis,” Straits Times
Profile of Senior Fellow Haruka Sakamoto
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