Japan's Population Decline Is Largest In Nation's Recorded History
Japan is well known to be the world's fastest-aging population, but recent statistics paint an even more dire picture.
According to Bloomberg, the number of people living in Japan fell by more than a quarter of a million to 125.9 million. This also marks the seventh consecutive year where the statistic has fallen. More than 24 percent of Japan's population is over the age of 65, ranking the highest among all G-7 nations.
Meanwhile, 1.30 million Japanese citizens died in 2015, outpacing the 1.01 million births in the country. Women in Tokyo, on average, have fewer children compared to women elsewhere in the country. This statistic is even more troubling when considering the number of people living in the large urban centers rose to a record high of 64.5 million.
The declining population is proving to be worrisome for Japan's government as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scrambling to introduce measures to prevent the total population from dipping below 100 million. Failure to do so would result in the country's labor force collapsing by more than 40 percent by 2060.
Japanese ETFs have seen a decline as well over the last year, as the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSE: EWJ) is down over 8 percent over the period, WidsomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSE: DXJ) is down over 28 and DBX ETF Trust (NYSE: DBJP) is down more than 23 percent.
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