The birth rate in Japan is declining faster than expected, with the number of babies born in the country in 2021 estimated to have fallen to around 805,000, a figure previously predicted for 2028, according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun. Meanwhile, the latest government figures show the number of Japanese aged 20 years on 1st January 2022 fell 40,000 from 2021 to around 1.2mn, a record low.
The decline reflects Japan’s persistent inability to reverse the falling number of births. Worryingly in a country with a dwindling workforce, the “new adult” cohort now represents just 0.96% of the population. Several 20-year olds told the UK Financial Times that their main ambition was to join a company and avoid risk, while starting a business was a “terrifying leap into the unknown”. Studies show that this generation has grown up with slow growth, low inflation and a zero-interest financial policy, and above all desires stability in business and the workplace.
Projections by the United Nations already show a decline in fertility rates in Asia, with the regional rate forecast to fall from 2.12 live births per mothers in 2020 to 1.76 by the end of this century. A more dramatic decline in fertility rate is forecast for Africa – from 4.29 in 2020 to 2.13 in 2099 – while the outlook for Europe and North America is more stable.
Meanwhile, the growing market for Femtech, with its increased focus on female empowerment and independence, is having direct benefits for the CHC market for sexual health & fertility, according to a new report from Nicholas Hall. Women’s health is becoming less of a “one size fits all” category as marketers increasingly recognise diversity within the demographic group. Female-led tech companies are avoiding the discreet and euphemistic marketing historically employed for intimate care, instead directly challenging taboos. A key benefit of FemTech is its ability to meet women’s health needs underserved by current services, such as existing health monitoring apps based on insufficiently diverse data or algorithms and values based on male norms.
Comment from Nicholas Hall Reports Managing Editor, Ian Crook: Launches such as Natural Cycles, the first FDA-cleared birth control app, and menstrual aid Lunette have brought improved access to intimate health resources. Marketing for Lunette is typical of the FemTech concept, focusing on women with a variety of body types and highlighting diversity to expand the brand’s audience and challenge a historical lack of interest in the health needs of minorities. As technology improves and marketers increasingly recognise gaps in women’s healthcare, we are seeing targeted launches offering real solutions, from better menopause care to app-driven fertility sensors, giving women the tools needed to take their health into their own hands.
FemTech features in a dedicated chapter in the newly-published Sexual Health & Fertility report, alongside coverage of contraception, intimate care, pregnancy & fertility and much more. For further details, or to place your order, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.