January 1, 2014

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 6000 from a year earlier, the ministry said.

About 1,275,000 people died – up about 19,000 from the previous year, the highest annual rise since World War II.

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