Japan’s demographic issues are not a secret for anyone, but a new report has revealed that the problem is growing. A whopping 70% of people under 34 are single and over 40% in that age category are still virgins.
Japan is home to the world’s oldest populations, with a low (and decreasing birthrate) and very many single people. In the past five years alone, Japan’s population has dropped by 1 million people, and the trend isn’t slowing down. Every year for the past five years, the country’s population decreased by 0.7%.
According to the Japan Times, a new survey of Japanese people ages 18 to 34 has even more bad news. The study, which was conducted in June 2015, questioned 8,754 single people and 6,598 married couples across the country. The study, which is carried out by Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research every five years. also discovered a record-low rate of children per family.
Some 30 percent of the 2,706 single men sampled and 26 percent of the 2,570 females claimed that they were not currently looking for a relationship. It found that 70 percent of unmarried men and 60 percent of unmarried women are not in a relationship and around 42 percent of men and 44.2 percent of women admitted that they were virgins. The real number might be a bit higher.
At a first glance, this might seem trivial, but it’s a grave concern. The Japanese government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said it wants to raise the nation’s fertility rate from 1.4 to 1.8 by 2025, but there has been little progress – mostly due to ‘sexual apathy.’ There seems to be no clear solution for this problem, and likely, Japan will continue to struggle with an ageing population and, unfortunately, with loneliness.
Still, there was some good news: for the first time in history, the proportion of women returning to work after having their first child in Japan exceeded 50 percent. Women in Japan typically earn 40% less than their male counterparts, making up 77% of the part-time workforce. At least in that regard, things are improving.