High economic growth in Japan has resulted in the population being densely concentrated in urban areas and has led to the formation of nuclear families consisting only of “a couple and child/ren, " which is now regarded as an exemplary family model (Nonoyama 2009). However, in recent years, family forms are becoming more diverse because of the decrease in the number of people getting married, the tendency to marry later, and the decline in the number of children. The number of couples that got married in 2012 was 670, 000, which is 60 percent or 430, 000 less than the level in 1972, when the number was 1.1 million (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 2013). On the other hand, the average age at first marriage in Japan was 30.8 years old (male), and 29.2 years old (female) in 2012, which is a rise of 3.0 years (male) and 4.0 years (female) over the last three decades (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 2013). The total fertility rate (TFR) also fell to a record-low of 1.26 in 2005, while it reached 4.3 in the age of the first baby boom (1947-49) (Cabinet Office 2013). Despite the slow increase in TFR in 2011, when it was 1.39, the number still remains low compared with European countries and the United States.
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