TOKYO, May 4 (UPI) -- Japan's child population has shrunk for the 34th consecutive year to a record low: 16.17 million.
The number was released Monday and was the lowest number for the demographic group since Japan began gathering the population data in 1950, reported Jiji Press.
Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry stated 8.28 million were boys and 7.88 million were girls.
Children under the age of 15 fell for the 41st consecutive year to 12.7 percent of the entire population. It is the lowest ratio among countries with populations of at least 40 million.
In the United States, children under the age of 15 make up 19.3 percent of the population, in Britain 17.6 percent, and in China 16.5 percent.
Within the group of those under the age of 15, the population diminished as the age went down. Those 12 to 14 composed the largest group at 3.47 million, and those 2 and younger were at 3.09 million.
As Japan's child population dwindles, its elderly population, or those age 65 or older, has been rising.
Japan estimates the population as a whole will drop to 86.7 million by 2060 with 40 percent people who are older than 65.
Japan's population currently stands at 127 million, reported Time Magazine.
Atsushi Seike, a professor of Labor Economics at Keio University in Japan, wrote in the Australian Financial Review Japan's social security spending was having a "significant impact." In fiscal year 2012, $1.17 trillion, or 22.8 percent of GDP was spent on social security alone.