(p. A6) Japan has 512,000 fewer people this year than last, according to an estimate released on Tuesday by the country’s welfare ministry. That’s a drop of more than the entire population of the city of Atlanta.
The numbers are the latest sign of Japan’s increasing demographic challenges.
Births in the country — which are expected to drop below 900,000 this year — are at their lowest figure since 1874, when the population was about 70 percent smaller than its current 124 million.
The total number of deaths, on the other hand, is increasing. This year, the figure is expected to reach almost 1.4 million, the highest level since the end of World War II, a rise driven by the country’s increasingly elderly population.
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date Dec. 24, 2019, and has the title “Japan Shrinks by 500,000 People as Births Fall to Lowest Number Since 1874.”)