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45.7% of companies view population decline as "a key business challenge"

~ Responding with development and expansion of products and services, but securing human resources becomes an obstructive factor ~

According to a demographic survey as of January 1, 2017, based on the basic resident register announced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the total population of Japan is 125,583,658, a drop for the eighth straight year, and the pace of decline is the largest since the survey began in 1968. While the birthrate is declining, the working population aged 15-64 continues its decrease since 1997, leading to concerns about the impacts on the Japanese economy and corporate growth, in addition to securing manpower to eliminate a labor shortage.

Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey of corporate attitudes toward the impact of population decline on corporate management, etc. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the August 2017 TDB Trends Research.

*Survey period: August 18 - August 31, 2017; Companies Surveyed: 23,621; Valid Responses: 10,265 (Response Rate: 43.5%).

*Details of this survey can be found in the dedicated Economic Trend Survey HP. (

Survey results (Summary)

1. Regarding an impact the population decline has, 88.7% of companies acknowledge that it has a “negative impact” "throughout Japan," 84.8% in "the industry to which the company belongs," and 78.7% in "the company".

2. With respect to how the company's management perceives population decline, 45.7% of companies said, "It is a key business challenge,” and 28.3% said, "It is a business challenge, but not so important.” Three out of four companies view it as a business challenge. Conversely, 13.0% of companies saying, "it is not a business challenge".

3. There is a trend in which companies viewing population decline as a key business challenge are increasing in areas already experiencing significant depopulation, which suggests this leads to a difference in perception in corporate management.

4. With respect to measures that the company is currently taking against population decline in its products and services, "development and expansion of products and services responding to aging" is highest, at 17.5%. With respect to future measures, although "development and expansion of products and services responding to aging" is highest, at 25.7%, companies that consider "entry into a different field of business" (24.3%) increased by 14.2 points to what it is now.

5. With respect to factors obstructing the implementation of measures to counter population decline, "securing human resources" accounts for a remarkably high 75.5%, followed by "expansion of sales channels" (32.2%), "technology development/research development" (19.1%), "acquisition of strength in planning and proposals” (16.6%), and

"cooperation with other companies" (13.9%).


1.Research Subjects(Companies Researched 23,621; Valid responses: 10,265; Response rate: 43.5%)

2.Research Items

*Business Confidence (current, in 3 months, in 6 months, in 1 year)

*Business Conditions (sales, purchasing and selling unit price, inventory, capacity utilization ratio, number of employees, overtime work hours)

3.Research Period and Methodology

Internet-based survey conducted August 18 – 31 2017

The explanation of the Economic Diffusion Index

Research Purpose/Researched Terms

TDB Economic Trend Research (started from May 2002) is a monthly statistical survey conducted for over 20,000 nationwide corporations on their general business activities including the current condition and future outlook of the industry business performance and operating climate. The primary purpose of such a survey is to assess the current state of Japan’s economy.

Selection of the Subject Corporations

Companies of all sizes in all domestic industries are eligible to participate in the survey.

DI Formula

The DI (Diffusion Index) is calculated by attaching a number (in parenthesis in the diagram below) to each of seven possible responses. Then multiplying the percentage of each response by the appropriate number, and adding the results.

A DI over 50 is in the range of “Good.” A score under 50 is “Bad.” The number 50 is the dividing point (“Neither Good or Bad”). All numbers are rounded off to the hundredth. It should be noted that no weight is given to a company’s responses based on its size. Calculations are made according to a “one company, one vote” rule.


For example, all corporations rated ‘Very Good’.


All corporations rated ‘Neither Good nor Bad’.


Size Classification

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