Examination of future cohort fertility in Japan

Setsuya Fukuda, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Tokyo, Japan, released striking results of their population projections for Japan in 2006-2055. According to their projections, the total population started to decline since 2005 and about 30% of current population will be lost in 50 years. During the same period, population aging accelerates unprecedented pace. The proportions of elderly population aged over-65 doubled from 20% in 2005 to 40% in 2055. As a result, Japan will be a forerunner of the advanced aging society in the world. What facilitates such a radical decline and aging of population ought to be rather pessimistic trends of projected fertility in future Japan. According to the projection for Japanese cohorts, cohort total fertility rate (CTFR) which is observed as 1.96 in the 1955 cohort, is projected to decline steadily in successive cohorts and expected to reach at 1.20 in the 1990 cohort. In particular, it is expected in the 1990 and younger cohorts that 37% of Japanese women remain childlessness through their reproductive careers. This figure is tripled from the observed 1955 cohort. Will it be a real feature of Japanese families? In fact, after reaching the recorded low at 1.26 in 2005, period TFR in Japan has been rising in 2006-2009 reaching at 1.37 which is well above projected value. This may indicate that levels of CTFR are also more or less higher than the projected CTFR. This study employs various possible methods with newly available data for 2006-2008, to examine future levels of cohort fertility in Japan. Not like the official fertility projection, however, this study projects fertility levels of only the 1960s and the 1970s cohorts who are currently well into the reproduction ages.

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Presented in Poster Session 1