Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Japan's Population Crisis

Japan's birthrate is plummeting after peaking seven years ago at 128 million. Japan's population has been falling and is on a path to decline by about 1 million people a year. The marriage rate has plummeted - and with it the birthrate. Out-of-wedlock births are rare.
Why are not the Japanese not getting married? The Japanese men are shying away from marriage because they simply cannot afford it. The young Japanese man has good reason to believe that his standard of living would drop immensely if he had to house and support a wife and children, especially considering that his wife likely would not be working. In Japan, marriage usually ends a woman's working career. Once they have a child, women face strong social pressure to quit their jobs and assume very traditional roles serving both the husband and the child. Childcare is scarce and expensive.