Experts warn the United States may be tracking Japan’s worrying population decline after the Asian nation-state released new shocking data.
Japan’s National Institute for Population and Social Security Research (IPSS) recently revealed that a third of 18-year-old women may never have children. The island nation recorded a population of 126.15 million in 2020, but that number is projected to drop to 87 million by 2070, according to IPSS.
“With the cost of living rising, I don’t think people feel like they can afford it or feel comfortable saying they want kids,” says 23-year-old Anna Tanaka said Reuters.
The birth rate has been declining for more than four decades, as has the desire for marriage and parenting has waned and financial worries have grown, the outlet reported.
Miho Iwasawa, director of population dynamics research at the IPSS, attributed the population decline to people marrying later in life and having fewer or no children.
As more and more families choose to have fewer children, a cycle of smaller families may emerge.
Parents who have fewer children can spend more on each child, which increases the average cost of raising a child and thus discourages more people from having children, Takuya told Hoshino, chief economist at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Reuters.
While Japan is stimulating population growth amid a worrying economic slowdown, experts warn that the US is experiencing a similar cultural shift that is leading to an ongoing population decline.
Data from That’s according to the US Census Bureau that the population grew by just 0.4 percent in 2022, an increase from 2021 but much less than every other year for the past few hundred years.
The number of births in the US has continued to decline for decades, as almost half of American women under 45 are currently childless. The number of biological fathers in the same age range also fell.
Some attribute this to the fact that Americans choose to marry later or not at all.
The median age of first marriage has increased over the past 50 years, from 23 in 1970 to about 30 in 2021 for men and from 21 in 1970 to 28 in 2021 for women. The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project found out.
In addition, a record number of 40-year-olds in the US have never been married and most of them live alone.
And a staggering 21% of Millennials and 7% of Gen Z have no plans to marry, with the majority saying they simply have no interest in marriage, according to a study by the Thriving Center for Psychology.
This marks a new peak in a decade-long trend.
Advances in egg freezing and fertility treatments have enabled women to delay childbearing and become single parents Settling their ticking biological clocks has also given some the time to build fulfilling lives and come to the conclusion that they don’t want children.
A A Match.com survey showed a 19% drop in singles under 40 who said it was important to have a partner who wants to have children compared to 2017. The decline in interest in children was “most pronounced among women, with just 56% saying it’s important to find a partner who wants to have children.” Children, the study said.
Younger generations are particularly disinterested in raising children: 37% of non-parents under 40 say they are not very or not at all likely to have children one day. according to the Pew Research Center.
Of those planning to remain childless, the majority (60%) said they simply do not want to be parents.
Those who want children are choosing to do so later and have smaller families, according to another study by the Pew Research Center reported. In 2021, the average woman gave birth for the first time at the age of 27.3, compared to 25.6 in 2011. Those who gave birth had an average of two children in 2020, which is significantly lower than the average for a family The study found that there were three or more children in the late 1970s.
Other experts have also attributed the declining birth rate to women achieving higher education and income levels, pursuing larger and longer career paths, changing family values, financial concerns, increased access to contraception, relationship instability, and climate issues—the list goes on.
“The challenge is that no single cause of the fertility decline can be identified,” said the director of Japan’s IPSS.