One big reason for the low fertility rate in Japan is that women are increasingly postponing marriage in order to work longer and build a career. Over one-third of women between the ages of 30 and 34 are unmarried, and in Japan’s conservative society, marriage remains the socially accepted condition for having children.Anti-family policies have also dramatically raised the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the USA.
Only 2 percent of Japanese babies are born outside of marriage, and there is still a strong stigma attached to such births. The vast majority of single mothers are divorced, as divorce has become more socially acceptable over the past generation or so. Public policies, like the tax laws, continue to discriminate against mothers with children born out of wedlock compared with divorced mothers with children.
In light of the dire predictions of population decline, the government might well rethink its discriminatory attitude toward births out of wedlock, which have been a critical factor contributing to the increase in fertility rates in other advanced economies. In France, for instance, out-of-wedlock births rose from about one-tenth of all births to over half in the last three decades.
Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts
Saturday, May 24, 2014
A NY Times editorial complains that Japan has pro-family policies, and suggests that it abolish those policies in order to encourage more out-of-wedlock births: