The birth rate in Japan continues to decline year-on-year, while the overall population continues to rise due to immigration. According to the CIA World Factbook of 2017, Japan is ranked 2nd for highest median age (47.3). As of October 2016 (mercatornet.com) Japan’s birth rate fell below 1 million for the first time since 1899, while there were 1.3 million people that died the same year. If the declining birth rate continues to drop, Eric Johnston from JapanTimes states that, “896 cities, towns and villages throughout japan are facing extinction by 2040.”
Now, the problem seems to spread across the sea, as millennials in the U.S. refuse to have kids as well.
What is the problem with the population decline? Why do the local residents in either countries refuse to have kids?
A Graph from Osaka university (Slide 4) shows a result of a survey as to why Japanese citizens consider not to marry or to have children. The chart is separated by genders. Translated, it looks like this:
Either genders have the belief that being single means that they will have more freedom for hobbies and meeting with friends etc.
Another factor Osaka university points out is the progression of women in the workforce. The prominent answer on the female side is due to the fact that more females are now in the workforce with higher wages. This complements the other top answers, as they believe that it’s more convenient to focus on their work when they don’t have to worry about taking care of anyone else.
Below are some explanations from the survey as to why fewer Japanese people are considering marriage, or having kids.
Taking the subject matter from Japan to the United States, online articles from Rooster and Healthyway gives us some insight as to why some people in the U.S. might not consider having kids. Both articles had similar reasons, such as:
1. The fear of raising kids in a bleak future.
2. Financial problems.
3. Fear of ruining their children with terrible parenting.
4. More people wanting to pursue their goals in life. (College/Work)
5. Fear of commitment of marriage/having kids.
Mary Sauer from Healthyway also mentioned the current position women are in, similar to the survey data seen from Osaka University. (Ex: Women are under less pressure and have more options, etc.)
According to Asia matters for America it is possible that millennials across the pacific have similar negative connotation towards having children too early. California has the highest Japanese population in the United States. To see if there are any correlation with the given data, we take a look at California’s birth rate and overall population, courtesy of the California Department of Finance:
While there might not be a direct correlation between Japanese people directly affecting U.S millennials, it’s important to consider that there is a possibility that the decline in birthrate might affect the environment you live in as well.
This organization caters to students of all majors and works to make diversity a priority in members’ everyday lives.
Justin Crawford, a senior and Co-President of DSLS gave a definition to what the organization deems as a networking trip.
The group stayed at the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel located on the same street that houses University of Cincinnati’s business area. Students got a chance to settle into their rooms, enjoy food from a local eatery and given free time to explore the city.
Students woke early to eat breakfast and read up on the places they would be touring for the following day. The group toured Gyro Advertising Agency where the president Trey Harness and Executive Creative Director Mike Tittel gave them a tour of the office and explained what their company does for its clients and its employees.
They also got a chance to tour the local television station WKRC-TV. Their escort Jennifer Hosty, a local sales manager at the station answered many questions about producing a news broadcast and even got the group inside the studio to watch as the noon newscast was being televised.
New to the group and networking trips, R.J. Clay, a sophomore majoring in sports management, had a lot to say about his first time traveling with DSLS and his takeaway from this trip.
Mrs. Wirth is a woman who is highly invested in exposing members of DSLS to diversity and issues that some have, are, and will face in their lifetimes. To promote this even further she makes it a priority to take the group to some cultural place every networking trip. After touring companies, the group ended their day at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. After giving the group a few hours to roam and take in the museum, Mrs. Wirth left her group, and a few people listening in, with some words of enlightenment before packing up and heading back to Tennessee.