Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Japan's population again

The new Japanese birth rate figures are out, and they show an increase for the first 6 months of the year - and indeed a small population increase too. Maybe Koizumi's pep talk had the desired effect - although even he would be surprised by such rapid results. It is a very small rise, and they are careful not to claim that things have turned the corner.

Here is the news story, and here are the official figures (in Japanese). With reference to this post, and the continuing comments here and on down, it is worth noting that the top right graph on the Japanese page gives the monthly death rate through the year (the blue dashed line is the whole of last year, red is the 1st 6months of this one). As I'd speculated, despite the evil summer here in Japan, the death rate is still markedly higher during DJF compared to JJA - that is December, January and February versus June, July and August for the acronym nazis :-) [Note further that even this far south, we're still in the Northern hemisphere and so JJA is summer. People have sometimes got that wrong :-)]

Rather to my surprise, two Japanese friends independently remarked upon how much they'd been enjoying the fine weather recently. I do think that's a bit excessive. But they clearly don't find it at all scary.

It's not like people just get used to it through being hot year-round either - the winter here is similar in temperature to the UK, much snowier in places. So the annual temperature swing is vast. Round these parts at least it is dry, bright and sunny much of the winter time though, which makes up for the summer suffering...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Nazi for asking that you define your acronyms. It comes down to whether you want your readers to understand what you are writing about or whether you are just writing to show how smart you are. It's your choice.

James Annan said...

It's ok, I do accept that (eg) MOC is probably a bit much, especially if you've just come from a Stoat acronym-fest special :-) I was going to put a link to a previous post where I'd talked about it before, but forgot. But...your language...(assuming you are the same you)

tin227 said...

I think Japan is not the only country who seem to be problamatic of their population. There are so many countries who seem to be so concern of this problem too.

EliRabett said...

Being rather phototropic, I think it probably has as much to do with the length of day.

James Annan said...

What, longer nights means more babies 9 months later? There could be something in that. But unfortunately for that thesis, the birth rate is pretty flat through the year.

:-)

Kiwi Particle Physicist said...

I can uderstand the births, deaths and marriages trends, but I was just wondering if you have any idea what the peak in divorces in March each year is? It's about 30% higher than the rest of the year. Seems like a fairly significant peak.

James Annan said...

I noticed the peak myself but don't know the reason and googling didn't help. I would guess there's a financial issue for one side, eg a tax benefit or annual bonus to keep hold of. It's surely too big a bump for someone not to know, anyway!