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Look to Japan for the time bomb facing the U.S.

Catherine RampellJanuary 4, 2019

In 2017, the United States saw the fewest babies born in 30 years, a stat that produced a lot of hand-wringing. But it turns out things could be worse — a lot worse. We could be Japan, whose unfolding demographic crisis provides some lessons for where America might be headed.

According to a new report from the Japanese government, Japanese women had 921,000 babies in 2018. That’s the fewest births since comparable records began in 1899 — when the country’s population was a third its current size.

Meanwhile, deaths in Japan hit their highest level in nearly a century. Put together, that means the country’s population is shrinking rapidly, experiencing its largest natural decline on record.

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