Japan's Population in Record Decline: Startling Projections

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Japan's native population declined by 430,000 people in 2018, a record 0.21%.

Japan is set to lose a midsize city, approximately the size of Austin Texas, every year according to a Financial Times report and stats from the IMF.

“The reason Japan’s population is now falling so fast is not the low birth rate but rather an increase in the number of deaths,” said Akihiko Matsutani, professor emeritus in applied economics at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

The population decline is despite record immigration.

Interesting Stats

  • There were 944,146 births in the year to October 2018 compared with 1,368,632 deaths.
  • Long-term projections suggest Japan’s population will fall to just 50 million in a hundred years. That's the same population as a hundred years ago.

I suspect the long-term projections are hugely wrong. If so, Japan's mountain of debt will pose a huge problem. Japan's battle against deflation will turn into a battle against inflation.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (71)
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Quatloo
Quatloo

What is the story with Ukraine? It looks like their population is falling off a cliff.

Ossqss
Ossqss

Sooo, what does Syria look like?

Mish
Mish

Editor

"Please clarify which way you think the long term projections are off."

In general, long-term projections are suspect. Look back at the Domino theory in Vietnam, global cooling projections in the 1960s, Greenspan's productivity miracle in 2000, etc.

At some point attitudes changes. I believe attitudes towards having children in Japan will change. That will end the deomgraphic cliff.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Look on the not so negative side. Wont C02 emissions fall as a consequence, globally. Unemployment wont be a problem. More breathing space. Robotisation will be a partner to society. Kids will be wanted.

It will probably stabilise but st a lower population level.

Its not the end of the world, forcing family sizes could have bad consequences. Etc etc

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Population is not the underlying problem, debt is. In order for compounding debt to be repaid, population must also compound at least as fast.

Realist
Realist

Hi Mish. Long term predictions are difficult and often incorrect. In order to have a better chance of correctly predicting the “long term” one needs accurate data and reliable trends.

That’s why I have always been a fan of demographics. It can provide several decades of reliable data/trends so that one can make reasonable forecasts of its impact over the next several decades. Demographics is why Japan’s future has been difficult for some time now and why it will continue to be difficult for the coming decades.

Sadly, Demographics are becoming less important as time passes; not because Demographics no longer work; but because other factors are becoming more important. Debt levels are a bigger factor today than demographics and will likely remain so for the coming decades; Particularly for developed countries like Japan.

Similarly, the increasingly important effects of global warming will become a larger factor as this century progresses. Even today, humanity is beginning to migrate away from areas that are becoming unliveable. As this migration trend accelerates, and millions are forced to move, current demographic projections will be overwhelmed and essentially useless.

By the way Mish; there was never a scientific consensus about “global cooling” in the 1960s as you say. That is one of many myths that climate skeptics like to believe in. Just like some still believe that the moon landing was a fake.

ksdude
ksdude

Other than economics, I dont see a problem with the ant farm getting a bit smaller.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Just further evidence that humans are no match for nature/cycles. The eugenicist, the original driving force behind the gloBull warming religion, believe population growth is the scourge of the earth.

Westerners are linear thinkers that not only like the simplicity of one variable analysis (if this, than that), but also believe trends continue indefinately. Whether it's house and stock prices, interest rates, temperatures, sun spots, earthquakes, a heartbeat, or population, everything with energy has a cycle (amplitude/wavelength/frequency).

Even the universe pulses, but man, especially powerful ones, think they can manipulate or eliminate the cycles. This hubris only increases/decreases the amplitude, and this normal decline in population will be no different.

After prosperity comes the economic decline, and when this cycle overlaps the cooling cycle a rogue wave is produced that causes crop failures, famines, and then plagues. Historically, this led to migration and wars, as people sought productive land and other people's stuff to survive. In modern times, leaders primarily need a distractive war to make people forget their self-interested leaders are not omnipotent.

Throw in the man-made insanity of the gloBull warming evangelist, who at a minimum will convince their cult that an economy-killing carbon tax is needed to save the world (reduce the population), and one can begin to appreciate how the amplitude of this normal decline in population can go rogue.

jiminy
jiminy

Fewer people means better quality of life, unless you enjoy sitting all day in traffic.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Then there's this:

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

Well, if this keeps up, pretty soon those guys in the white gloves that shove the passengers into the Tokyo subway cars like sardines will be out of a job.

Ted R
Ted R

That is Great news. Way too many people on this planet anyway. In the future people will either figure out a way to survive or they won't. Survival of the fittest.

gdpetti
gdpetti

Not to worry, it's only fiat, easily done away with, especially with the 'out with the OWO, in with the NWO' script on pace... no one will care about debt in a decade, especially with Mother Nature's cleanup act in a decade or less.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Japan has long had some seriously messed up demographics. In the midst of WWII, they had a huge birth boom, hoping to populate all the areas they had conquered. Once the bomb dropped, the birth rate dropped to near zero. Thus, they have a huge number of people born in 1942-44. Those people are currently 75-77. It isn't surprising that the death rate is rising. The better question is what the demographics will do once those people are gone.

William Janes
William Janes

How does this compare to Russia's demographic decline. Oh, I forgot Russia quit releasing that data. China appears to be disguising their decline also.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

Ain t that great, when you come to think of it ? If only did would happen on a global scale ! Do we really have to be 20 bln soon on a already half destroyed planet for the mere benefit of the J&Js of this world ? Mankind has already passed its boom cycle and is now being kept alive in a delusive world of intrinsically worthless fiat money! How long can this go on, I wonder ....

sequoia512
sequoia512

The Grand Solar Minimum and coming Little Ice Age will take care of 30 to 50 percent of us in the next decade.

Menaquinone
Menaquinone

Russian demographics are more serious. Russia loses one million of their best educated every year.