In What Country Do Pets Outnumber Children?

Japan is a country in which pets outnumber children. It is estimated that there over 22 million pets in Japan, compared to approximately 16 million children aged 15 and under, according to 2012 figures. The pet population is projected to grow in Japan as couples opt to adopt pets instead of having children—official estimates predict that Japan’s population will decline from 128 million to 43 million by 2100. The fertility rate for women of childbearing age is just 1.39 children per woman. This is thought to perhaps be due to economic reasons, as Japanese women often are not able to reenter the workforce after motherhood and couples may require two incomes.

More about pet ownership:

  • The pet industry in Japan is worth an estimated $13 billion US Dollars (USD) annually.
  • More US households contain dogs than children. In 2010, the US Census showed that 43 million households had dogs versus 38 million households with children.
  • Owning a dog was illegal in Beijing, China’s capital, until 1980 because the act was seen as an imitation of Western culture ideals.

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