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

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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.

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.

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.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Then there's this:

jiminy
jiminy

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

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.

ksdude
ksdude

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Ossqss
Ossqss

Sooo, what does Syria look like?

Quatloo
Quatloo

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

FelixMish
FelixMish

Italy, too? A decade or two ago the projected population of Italy looked a lot like that for Japan - way-heavy on old people by 2050. The US is a bit of an outlier in such projections because of immigration.

Demographics is going to interact with breeding in "interesting ways" in the near future. We have a couple hundred million years of breeding to value kids. Rather less time to adapt to value old folks.

Tengen
Tengen

I maintain Japan's birth rate is okay as we head into a declining world economy. They're as innovative with robots and automation as anybody and they still have a cohesive society.

Abe is making a mistake following the western trend of wanting to import unskilled workers. They don't need them.

Of course Japan is screwed economically, but so is everybody else. The goal is to have a country that can weather the storm and work together rather than despising each other over every imaginable human trait. I'd much rather be in their shoes than ours.

flubber
flubber

Mish,
Please clarify which way you think the long term projections are off.
Falling to less than 50 million total population or more? Thanks in advance. (btw, I won't be around in 50 years to see if you are correct!)

ipso_facto
ipso_facto

The Baby Boomers are dying off in increasing numbers. Japan has been in government-induced 'recession' for 30 years. As the prospects of the newer generations withered so did the incentive to produce additionals burdens (i.e. children) which would have made the poor economy even more difficult to deal with. With no prospect of 'growing out of the debt burden' Japan is screwed.