Number of deaths outnumbered births, highest in 50 years

Japan in 2018 recorded its steepest population decline since 1968 with a record drop of 433,239, according to the figures released by the government.

This is the 10th consecutive year of population decline observed in the country which counted 124.8 million Japanese last year, a report by the Internal Affairs Ministry said, reported Efe news.

In 2018, some 921,000 births were recorded, marking a historic low, while more than 1.36 million deaths were recorded.

This was the 12th consecutive year where the number of deaths outnumbered births in the country.

The report also indicated an increase in the number of foreign residents by nearly 170,000 people to stand at about 2.66 million in 2018, which means that these residents surpassed 2 per cent of the total population.

Japan’s aging population presents numerous social and economic challenges.

In the face of manpower shortages affecting many sectors of the economy, the government in April put into place contentious rules to ease immigration for low-skilled workers.

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