Japan's child population falls for the 43rd straight year to a fresh record low, weighing on economic prospects

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The number of children in Japan has dropped to another record, in a stark reminder of the demographic challenges that are weighing on Asia’s second biggest economy.

The population of kids 14 years old or younger fell for the 43rd straight year to around 14.01 million as of April 1, according to data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. The ratio of children to Japan’s total population decreased to 11.3%, also touching an all-time low.

Japan’s total population has been falling steadily since around 2010, leading to chronic labor shortages, while the rising ratio of the elderly in the country is pressuring higher the nation’s medical and social security expenditures.

The situation is expected to worsen as Japan’s birth rateis one of the world’s lowest and remains well below the replacement rate. 

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