The Mainichi reports that Japan’s population has fallen for the first time in three years, with a decrease in the female population for the first time since 1950, government statistics based on national census figures showed.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of females dropped to 65.441 million as of Oct. 1, 2008. The country’s male population also sank for the fourth consecutive year to 62.251 million.
Japan’s total population was 127.692 million, down by 79,000 compared to the previous year, with the number of births at 1.108 million and deaths reaching a record high of 1.142 million.
The number of children aged 14 or younger was 17.176 million, or 13.5 percent of the entire population, both new lows. Conversely, the elderly population aged 65 or older hit 28.216 million, or 22.1 percent of the total population, the highest figures for number and proportion ever.
Minus foreigners, Japan’s population dropped for the fourth straight year to 125.947 million (61.424 million males and 64.523 million females), down by 138,000 from the previous year.
The number of Japanese leaving the country surpassed the number of those entering by 110,000, the highest ever.