A Grim Destiny Hidden Beneath the Glitter
One cause of depopulation, which is likely to lead to the downfall of Japan if it is not reversed, is a collapse in the total fertility rate (TFR) for Japanese females in their child-bearing years (from 15-49). This TFR fell precipitously from 5.10 in 1925 to an exceptionally low 1.39 by 2010 (compared to a UN world average of 2.52 for 2010).  The replacement rate for a population is two children per woman. With its TFR not just below 2 but now under 1.5, it is not surprising that Japan’s population is shrinking and getting older. The CIA World Factbook ranks Japan 202 out of 222 countries in its country comparison table for TFRs.  Japan’s net reproduction rate fell by over half from 108.2 in 1925 to 44.0 by 2010.Fewer productive workers and builders -- combined with more sick and elderly dependent upon government social benefits -- will lead to a more impoverished nation. Robots can compensate for a portion of this worker deficit, but anyone who believes that robots can keep Japan wealthy in the face of such a monumental demographic change, has an impoverished and dysfunctional mental model of how societies evolve.
Ominously, such a depletion of population will be accompanied by an equally significant fall in economically active citizens (those in the working age bracket of 15-64).
This shrinking population with its declining workforce will also be ageing. Sadly, the only aspect of Japan’s population which will continue to grow relative to other age groups will be its senior citizenry (those aged 65 and over).
The mean age of the Japanese is expected to rise from 45 years old in 2010 to 54.6 years old by 2060.  We are looking at the world’s oldest society.  _Demographic Sunset of Japan
The pyramids in the chart shows Japanese demographic spreads in 1950, 2008 and the projected in 2050, with Age on the vertical axis and Millions of People on the horizontal. You can see the huge increase in the Over 65’s over the three charts and the huge decline in the under 14’s. Japan’s population is shrinking and ageing rapidly.What is happening in Japan is also happening in Europe, South Korea, North America, and Oceania. The decline is masked somewhat by immigration. A very small proportion of immigrants to Europe and the Anglosphere are cracker-jack entrepreneurs and professionals who add to national productivity and GDP. Unfortunately -- due to dysfunctional government immigration policies -- a large number of perpetual social welfare dependents are also immigrating, leading to a significant net depletion in productivity and prosperity over the long run.
What are the implications of this?
As the population ages, the greater the reliance will be on government welfare and aged services. This means that there will be even greater strains on government debt as less and less people are contributing to wealth through income tax and more and more people rely on government hand-outs.
In a nutshell, the Japanese economy has been in systematic decline since its peak in 1990, and the government has tried everything in the Keynesian book of economics with little or no effect except the racking up of massive debt for 20 years now. _Japanese Meltdown
The demographic decline that we see clearly in Japan due to a lack of immigration, is happening at ramming speed in the modern west, within their core populations. The core populations of a prospering society, are the central ethnic and cultural populations which have fostered the underlying prosperity. When doing demographic projections, if you look mainly at the core populations, you will see exactly the same phenomenon across the western world, as you see in Japan.
OECD sees global growth slowing as a result of ageing populations
Many readers have suggested that we at Al Fin spend too much time on demographic issues. Perhaps some would rather be distracted by the glitter-news of new iPads, Androids, or any number of "technological wonders" with which modern media obscures disastrous underlying trends in society.
You should know by now that the writing staff here at the Al Fin Blogging Syndicates will write about whatever they think is interesting and important, regardless of expressed reader preferences. There are more than enough media sluts out in the skankstream media.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. And remember that it is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.