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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 24 - 30  > Link between declining birthrate and financial difficulties documented in gov’t white paper
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2019 July 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Link between declining birthrate and financial difficulties documented in gov’t white paper

July 28, 2019

The Cabinet Office 2019 White Paper on countermeasures to address the declining birthrate contains survey results suggesting that many young married couples hesitate to have children due to financial uncertainty.

The government annual report cites a survey of married couples which was carried out in 2015 by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. The survey found that the respondents want ideally to have 2.32 children on average. On the other hand, the respondents intend to actually have 2.01 children, the total number of children they already have and additional children they plan to have. Both the ideal and estimated numbers hit a record low.

Around 30% of the couples surveyed said that they plan to have fewer children than they actually hoped to have. As the reason for this, 56.3% said, “Child-rearing and education costs are prohibitive.” This percentage exceeded 80% among the respondents aged between 30 and 34. This suggests that many young married couples are unable to afford to have as many children as they really want.

In 2018, Japan saw the lowest number of newborns. The total fertility rate decreased three years in a row, far lower than the 2.07 at which Japan can maintain its population.

In order to create a society where no married couples need to give up hope of having a child, it is urgently necessary for the government to implement measures such as the expansion of free medical care services for children and a measure to make education free of charge.

Past related articles:
> Pro-business gov’t policies worsen declining birthrate problem [June 6, 2018]
> Gov’t report suggests low birthrate is due to unstable jobs and low income [June 26, 2013]
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