Japanese population declined by record number in 2013

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Cherry Blossom Walk in Osaka

Flickr user Gaheilon

The Japanese population, which has been shrinking for the last couple of years, declined by a record 244,000 people in 2013, according to health ministry estimates.
If the current trend persists, the BBC reports the country will lose a third of its population in the next 50 years.

An estimated 1,031,000 babies were born last year, a decline of about 6,000 from the previous year.

With a quarter of the population over 65 years of age, the number of people who died in 2013 was 1,275,000, an increase of 19,000 from 2012.

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