Japan's population logs record drop in 2013, ministry says
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's population fell by a record 244,000 in 2013, according to health ministry estimates released on Wednesday, highlighting concerns over an ever-dwindling workforce supporting a growing number of pensioners.
An estimated 1,031,000 babies were born in 2013, down about 6,000 from a year earlier, the ministry said.
On the other hand, around 1,275,000 people died - up about 19,000 from the previous year, the highest annual rise since World War II.
As a result, the natural population decline came to a record 244,000, the ministry said, beating the previous highest fall of 219,000 in 2012.