Tokyo, May 4 (Jiji Press)–The number of children in Japan fell by a third in the 30-year Heisei era, which ended in April, internal affairs ministry data showed Saturday.
The number of children aged under 15 is estimated at 15.33 million as of April 1, down 180,000 from a year before and the lowest since comparable data became available in 1950.
The total, which marked the 38th straight year of decrease since 1982, was about two-thirds of the 23.2 million in 1989, the first year of the Heisei era.
In the new era of Reiwa, no easy way can be found to halt the drop in the number of children, analysts said.
According to the data, released before Children’s Day on Sunday, those aged under 15 accounted for 12.1 pct of Japan’s total population, down 0.2 percentage point year on year and falling for the 45th straight year since 1975.
The share was down 6.7 points from the 18.8 pct in 1989.
Of all children, boys accounted for 7.85 million and girls totaled 7.48 million.
By three-year age bracket, the number falls as the age becomes lower. Those aged 12 to 14 stood at 3.22 million, nine to 11 at 3.21 million, six to eight at 3.09 million, three to five at 2.95 million and zero to two at 2.86 million.
As of Oct. 1, 2018, the number of children increased 8,000 to 1.55 million in Tokyo, the only local government that posted growth. The number remained unchanged at 247,000 in Okinawa Prefecture and decreased in all other 45 prefectures.
The share of children in the total population was highest in Okinawa, at 17.0 pct, followed by Shiga, at 14.0 pct, and Saga, at 13.6 pct.
The share was lowest in Akita, at 10.0 pct, followed by Aomori, at 10.8 pct, and Hokkaido, at 10.9 pct.