Japan's Birth Rate Hit New Low in 2023

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.27 - 2024 3:16 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Japan's birth rate hit a historic low in 2023, pushing the government to adopt innovative measures.

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Last year, Japan witnessed its birth rate drop to an unprecedented low, casting a spotlight on the country's ongoing demographic challenges. A mere 758,631 babies were born in 2023, marking a 5.1% decrease from the year before, according to Reuters.

Marriages also saw a significant reduction, declining by 5.9% to fall below 500,000 for the first time in 90 years. This decrease in marriages hints at a potential further decline in the population, especially considering Japan's low number of children born outside of marriage.

Government's Response to the Fertility Crisis

This decline in births has been a trend for eight consecutive years now. In response, the Japanese government has pledged to implement "unprecedented measures" to address the fertility crisis. These measures include expanding access to kindergartens and increasing pay for younger workers.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, "The next six years until 2030, when the number of young people will decrease rapidly, will be the last chance to reverse this trend."

Innovative Solutions and AI in Matchmaking

Moreover, Japan is exploring innovative solutions to combat loneliness and encourage family formation, utilizing modern technology.

By the end of March last year, 31 out of 47 prefectures in Japan had introduced services that use artificial intelligence to help people find life partners. Tokyo joined this initiative in December.

Shiga Prefecture went a step further by launching an online marriage support center in 2022. As of the end of January, this center has facilitated 13 marriages, with six couples being matched through AI-based on personal preferences.

This demographic issue in Japan mirrors challenges faced by other countries, including Ukraine, where the birth rate has also significantly dropped, with one-third fewer children born in 2023 compared to before the onset of the full-scale war.