Japan’s fertility crisis even worse than before as births fall sharply

(CNN)Japan’s fertility crisis is worsening, with data from the first seven months of this year showing the sharpest drop in births in 30 years, according to preliminary government data. Japan’s birth rate has been falling since the late 1970s. In 2005, it reached a record low of 1.26, but then seemed to be on a path of recovery until it started to fall again in 2016, according to government figures. By 2018, it was at 1.42. To maintain a stable population, countries need a fertility rate of 2.1. Last year, it was 1.72 in the United States but only 0.98 — or less than one baby per woman — in South Korea, where fertility rates have fallen to their lowest …