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Young population declining, except in Okinawa Prefecture

Date Posted: 2012-05-12

The number of youngsters under the age of 15 in Japan now stands at a record low 16.6 million, a decline for the 31st straight year.

Although the number dropped 120,000 last year, Okinawa is the exception to the rule. Okinawa has 17.7% of its people under 15, while Tokyo and Akita are lowest at 11.3%. The declines in ratios of children in the various age groups are continuing now for a 38th year, and the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry says there appears to be no hope for immediate change.

The ministry divided kids into three-year age brackets, with those 12-14 comprising the largest group at 3.5 million, while the youngest—those newborn to age two—fell to 3.1 million. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s estimate showed that the number of newborns in 2011 was a record-low 1,057,000.

Only Tokyo and Fukuoka saw growth in the number of kids during the past year. On the opposite side of the coin, Fukushima, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, saw the number of children fall by the largest margin nationwide, a reduction of 13,000.

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