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Births set to drop 10% in Japan and US in COVID baby bust

Pandemic's economic toll weighs on young couples as they plan for future

Newborn in Japans: The pandemic has only raised the difficulty of staging a population comeback. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

TOKYO -- Births in Japan and the U.S. are forecast to fall next year as the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic prompts young people to think twice about getting married and having children.

In Japan, which saw its population decline for the 11th consecutive year in 2019, births will drop about 10% in 2021, predicts Hideo Kumano at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. There were 860,000 births last year, dipping below 900,000 for the first time since tracking of the data began.

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