Since 1868, Japan has developed a culture that is well accustomed to the idea of population control. With its population consisting of just 30 million, the upcoming government encouraged a growth, in order to compensate its isolation from the rest of the world. This population growth was designed for two purposes; industry and reform of a developing country, which would eventually become the economic tiger that it is today. .
Before this time, large families paved the way to a prosperous life, and the government no longer encouraged previously encouraged behaviors, such as infant genocide, delayed marriages, and abortions, in order to keep the population at a necessary minimum. The government instituted plans for both social and economical improvements. With the discouragement of births outside of marriage, women were encouraged to achieve higher degrees of education, which directly caused its purpose; later and fewer marriages. With aided increases in income, improved social security and pensions, and decreasing rates of infant mortality, the need for large families decreased and brought the birth rate to an average of 1.38 for each woman in 1998, and 1.32 in 2002.(Asiasource.org-Special Report: Japan's Aging Population Challenge for its Economy and Society) .
This particular strategy, inflicted by the government, has impacted the demographics of Japan, considerably, and has increased their life expectancy to 76.4 for men and 82.8 for women, the highest in the world. This article also mentions an alarming statistic that the number of children, aged 14 and under, has decreased by about 20% since 1949, and makes up only 15% of today's population. In a related article, (www.kkc/usa/org) Japan's Aging Society Overview, it was found that senior citizens, in 1950, made up 4.16% of the total population. With a steady increase, almost 22% of the population, in 2000, were senior citizens.