Current population of Japan is estimated at 126.6 million persons, that accounts for 1.7% of the total world population. Japan the tenth most populated country in the world, while population of Tokio, Japan's capital city, is the largest among world's urban agglomerations. However, today population of Japan is gradually declining. Thus, its population have decreased by 1% compared to its peak in 2010 - year of previous census. And this trend is going to continue in the future: Japan is among 11 countries that are expected to see their populations declining between 2015 and 2050 by more than 15%. Population division of the UN expects Japan population to decrease to 107 million people by 2050.
So, why is population of Japan declining?
First of all, for the large proportion of male Japanese population there is shift towards work in the work-life balance. In other words, work in Japan is the primary interest as compared to inferior life: average working day in Japan is 10 hours. High working pressure causes stress levels to surge and suicide rates to retain high: as for 2011 Japan has the second highest suicide rate in the world after Korea.
What for Japanese women, they are also career-focused, if not to more extent than men. Due to this Japan is among largest low-fertility countries such as China, Russia, USA and Viet Nam. Starting from 1977 total fertility rate in Japan is below 1.9, which means that, on average, every woman gives birth to less than 2 children.
Moreover, Japan has an ageing population. Life expectancy at birth in 2010-2015 in Japan is the second-highest in the world trailing only China, Hong Kong SAR. For this reason alongside low fertility rates, Japan has the lowest number of workers per retiree in the world: on average there are 2.1 people aged 20-64 years for every person aged 65 years and above. Because of this healthcare and social protection systems of Japan may face profound pressure in the not-too-distant future.
All in all, population ageing, prevalence of "salaryman" culture", low fertility rates and high suicide rates are the main factors behind declining Japanese population.
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