TOKYO, April 16: Japan’s population logged the steepest fall on record, dropping by 644,000 to just over 125.5 million in 2021, government statistics showed Friday.
The large drop reflects a plunge in the number of foreign residents due to strict border controls over the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly aging society, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The population stood at 125,502,000 as of Oct. 1, 2021, down by 644,000 compared to a year earlier. It declined for the 11th consecutive year and the drop was the biggest since comparable data became available in 1950, said the ministry.
The number of foreign nationals living in Japan decreased by 25,000 to 2,722,000 as strict border controls were implemented to mitigate imported COVID-19 cases.
The number of Japanese nationals stood at 122,780,000, a drop of 618,000 compared to a year earlier.
The country logged 831,000 births in 2021, outpaced by the year’s 1.44 million deaths.
The working population, or people aged from 15 to 64, decreased by 584,000 to 74,504,000, constituting 59.4 percent of the total population and hitting a record low.
Those aged 14 and below accounted for an all-time low of 11.8 percent of the total population, while people aged 65 and over made up a record high of 28.9 percent, according to the government data.