NHK poll: Over 80% alarmed about potential impact of Japan's falling birthrate

NHK's latest poll indicates that more than 80 percent of the respondents feel a sense of crisis about the impact that Japan's falling birthrate could have on society.

NHK conducted the random phone survey over a three-day period through Sunday. It received responses from 1,192 people, or 49 percent of those targeted.

Government statistics released last week showed that the country's total fertility rate fell to 1.20 in 2023. That is the lowest since record-keeping began in 1947. The figure represents the number of children a woman is expected to have during her lifetime.

According to NHK's poll, 54 percent feel a huge sense of crisis about the social impact of the falling birthrate, while 31 percent said they feel a sense of crisis to some extent. Six percent said they are not really alarmed, and two percent said they are not alarmed at all.

A revised child-rearing support law has been enacted by the Diet. It scraps the income ceiling that prevented some parents from receiving child allowances. The legislation also calls for public contributions to partly secure the necessary funding.

Asked if these measures can stem the decline in the number of children being born, three percent said they can have a great impact. Twenty-three percent said they can help to a certain degree. On the other hand, 46 percent said the measures will not help very much, and 20 percent said they will not help at all.