The average age of first-time mother in Japan exceeded for the first time the 30-year threshold in 2001, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry announced.
The average age of first-time mothers increased fast in the last decades, marking the reality of an ageing society. The average age was 25.7 in 1975, it rose to 29.1 in 2005, to 29.9 in 2010 and, finally, to 30.1 last year.
The average age at which Japanese get married reached also a new high last year, at 30.7 for men and 29.0 for women, up by 0.2 from the previous year.
The worrying statistics continue with the number of births for 2011, which scored a new low since the ministry has been keeping track of the data, back in 1947. The number of births dropped by 20,600, to 1,051,000.
The number of deaths increased by 56,450 to a record-high 1,253,000, influenced in part by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The natural decline (difference between number of deaths and number of births) was of 202,765 in 2011.