Japan: Still Shrinking

It may not seem like it in the pedestrian-choked streets of Tokyo, but Japan is about to get a lot less crowded. Thanks to a fertility rate that's dropped to 1.25 children per woman—well below the 2.1 needed to keep a population stable—the number of Japanese is set to peak next year and then fall rapidly to 64 million, or half the current population, by 2100. It's not just about elbow room: fewer babies mean fewer young, productive workers to keep Japan's economy afloat, while the proportional increase in the elderly population will severely strain social services. So politicians were as...

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