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Japan population to fall below 100m by 2056: new estimate

Shrinking working-age population to weigh on country's economic growth

Japan's estimated total fertility rate, or the number of births per woman, was lowered to 1.36 from 1.44 in the previous estimate, reflecting the falling birthrate. (Photo by Yosuke Kurabe)

TOKYO -- Japan's population will fall below 100 million in 2056, and the number of births will fall below 500,000 in 2059 if births per woman remain roughly unchanged, according to projections released Wednesday by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

Unless productivity rises, Japan may become weaker as a nation if the population shrinks. Policies to maintain economic growth in the face of a declining population will need to be implemented quickly to avoid that fate.

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