Chart of the week: a new baby boom for Japan?

Chart of Japan’s fertilility rate

Japan’s total fertility rate (TFR), the average number of children a woman has in her lifetime, has been on the rise in recent years, says Robert Sierra in Halkin Services’ weekly newsletter.

In 2015 it hit 1.46, the highest since 1994. Many hope that this heralds a structural increase in the birth rate, reflecting growing confidence in the economy. But it could just be a result of people having children later in life, which creates a period when the birth rate is unusually low but rebounds as people eventually start a family.

In any case, the TFR is still far below the 2.1 required to stabilise the population.