I’ve mentioned in earlier posts about the declining school population.  This week our staff received some data on the issue in the form of a colorful, optimistic-looking newsletter.

The numbers below represent how many junior high students were enrolled in the given school year.  Why junior high?  Some students don’t go on to a traditional academic high school after junior high so these numbers do a better job of reflecting the demographics of the general population.

1983:  26,649

1993:  22,148

2003:  16,776

2008:  14,719

Projected for 2018:  11,948

This information is available on the prefecture’s website, but in order to find it you will need to be able to read Japanese.

The newsletter appears to be a gentle reminder that changes will need to be made to the system soon to accommodate the decline in population.  Several people have repeatedly told me that this is happening in just about every prefecture in Japan.  The main reason seems to be that people are having less children.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with a nation producing less children.  But it is interesting and has ramifications in our current professions.


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One Response to “Population”

  1. adventureben Says:

    It’s definitely interesting. One teacher at my local high school said he was terribly afraid of losing his job in a couple of years, even though he’s faithfully served the district for over twenty years. There were also mentions of pay cuts from a few years back.

    I’m also interested in why exactly the population is declining, given all the talk I’ve heard about condoms not being as widely-used in Japan as in America. Does abortion carry the same level of controversy over here?

    And third, I wonder what this means for Japan’s entire economy. With fewer people to fill the job market in the coming generations, can the nation support itself? I guess we’ll just have to find out next time on a very special episode of “Next Decade’s News.”

    By the way, I used Orbitz to book my flights. It’s pretty easy, and it came up with results that were about a thousand bucks cheaper than Yahoo Travel. I’ve never used Expedia myself.
    If you’re planning on going somewhere, good luck!

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