According to the The Asahi Shimbun, the number of babies born in 2019 fell to 864,000, decreasing by more than 6%. Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare says it’s the first time since 1899 that the number of births dipped below 900,000.
NPR reports, the health ministry says the number of people of reproductive age is declining, which is leading to the decrease in babies.
More younger women are also choosing their careers over marriage and children.
According to The New York Times, Japanese culture makes it difficult to have a career and be a mother.
The Japan Times also says having children outside of marriage is rare, fewer than 3% of kids are born outside of wedlock.
Marriage rates in the country have also decreased.
Japan also had its highest number of deaths in 2019. Almost 1.4 million people died, the most number of people since World War II.
Another factor is the so-called "Total Fertility Rate (TFR)" - the birth rate necessary to keep a population from shrinking - is widely considered to be around two children per woman.
Japan's TFR is well below that. According to the United Nations Population Division, Japan's average birth rate per woman is 1.37 percent.