Japan has too many virgins and not enough babies

A Japanese baby
(Image credit: Kazuhiro Nogi/Getty Images)

In Japan, 42 percent of men and 44.2 percent of women between the ages 18 and 34 are virgins. Just six years ago, those numbers stood at 36.2 and 38.7 percent respectively, indicating a significant increase in the number of young Japanese people who have never had sex.

This information comes from Japan's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (NIPSSR), which has conducted the same survey about every five years for three decades. The first study, in 1987, found 48.6 percent of unmarried men and 39.5 percent of unmarried women in that age range were not in a relationship. Today, 70 percent of unmarried men and 60 percent of unmarried women aren't dating — and more than a quarter of singletons of each sex say they are not interested in meeting a partner right now.

"They want to tie the knot eventually. But they tend to put it off as they have gaps between their ideals and the reality," said Futoshi Ishii of the NIPSSR. "That's why people marry later or stay single for life, contributing to the nation's low birthrate." Japan's birthrate is currently 1.4 percent, nearly a full point below the global average replacement rate of 2.3 children per woman. Japan also has the oldest population in the world, leading its government to promote fertility among young people — with apparently dismal results.

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