In Japan, Elders Outnumber Kids

Too many senior citizens, not enough children means trouble ahead
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 1:16 PM CDT
Children wearing Boston Red Sox-colored T-shirts clown around with the team's mascot Wally at dugout before a baseball clinic at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, Monday, March 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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(Newser) – Monday was Children’s Day in Japan, but the holiday has a bitter irony in a land where the number of children has been waning for 27 years. Kids account for only 13.5% of Japan’s population, while the elderly make up 22%, the Washington Post reports.

The steady population shrinkage will have drastic effects. By 2050, Japan will have lost 70% of its labor force, and at the current rate, in a century the country will have only one-third of its current population.