Every five years, the National Population and Social Security Research Institute of Japan surveys attitudes about marriage and having children. The results of the latest study have just been released and enthusiasm for both family building activities has cooled compared to the last iteration.
Responses were collected from 7,862 single men and women aged 18 to 34. When asked what they think about the idea of marriage, 17.3% of men and 14.6% of women answered “I have no intention of ever getting married“, which represents an increase of 5.3% to 6.6% compared to the previous survey. On the other side of the spectrum, 81.4 percent of men and 84.3 percent of women said “I want to get married one day“both figures are the lowest since the survey was first carried out in 1982.
However, the most dramatic change occurred when respondents were asked if they wanted children after marriage. 55.0 percent of men and 36.6 percent of women think that “if you marry, you should have children“, representing a decrease of approximately 20.0 percent for men and approximately 30.0 percent for women, compared to five years ago. Even those who want children want to have less. When participants with a romantic partner who planned to marry were asked how many children they hoped to have, the average for men was 1.91, down from 1.82 in the last study, and for women it was 1.79, down from 1.79.2.02, that is the first time in the history of the survey that the average number of children wanted is less than 2.
While both marriages and births continue to decline in Japan, there are a few things to keep in mind that make the results a bit more complicated than straight”the Japanese are not interested in romance and baby making“. As mentioned above, the survey is conducted once every five years, but the results being announced now were collected in 2021, the first full year of the pandemic in Japan. Considering that COVID-19 vaccines weren’t widely available until the second half of 2021, it’s understandable that even fewer people than usual fantasized about marriage, given how many single love lives was suspended during the extensive social retrenchment initiatives.
The prospect of having children, and especially the idea of having many children, is likely to have been similarly affected by the pandemic. Japanese houses tend to be small, with little extra space designed on the plan. In 2021, working from home has become the new normal for many people, but the sudden change has meant that many people’s “offices” have been their workspace moved into a corner of their living room. With space in Japanese homes even tighter than usual, the idea of adding multiple children to the situation, perhaps attending classes remotely themselves, probably wasn’t particularly appealing, or at least more less attractive than once families return to a lifestyle where everyone. not inside most of the day.
font: Yahoo! Japan news
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