But Low Fertility Rates, Will We Have Enough Babies To Maintain Our Population?
Well, Japan has now made it official. They've recorded the lowest number of births last year in a century, 1.4 million deaths in Japan and only 800,000 births. Uh oh. That's upside down. The fertility rate in Japan is now just 1.3. What does that mean? Well, let's put it this way. To sustain the population, the fertility rate needs to be 2.1. In other words, every woman needs to produce 2.1 babies. In Japan, they're only producing 1.3. It's not just that they're not producing enough babies, it also means that they are getting older as a population. 30% of the country is over the age of 65, and the trend doesn't appear to be getting better.
Marriages fell for the second year in a row. There were only 500,000 marriages last year in Japan, and marriage in Japan is a precursor to babies because out-of-wedlock births are very, very uncommon. And by the way, there are a dozen countries in the world, including Ukraine and Italy, that have even lower fertility rates than Japan.
In the United States, meanwhile, we've had 25% more marriages last year than usual, 2.6 million marriages. Well, let's not get too excited it really doesn't represent a demographic trend. The reason we had such an increase in the number of marriages in 2021 is because so many had postponed their nuptials due to the pandemic.
Diamond sales are up, but what about Russian Sanctions?
And this wedding boom is great for diamond sales. Sales are up 60% over last year for diamonds, and production, though, is only up 5%. Therefore, do the math. Sales up 60%. Supply is only up 5%. You guessed it, price increases. Prices are up 21% for diamonds. So if you are among those who are getting married or even just getting engaged, you can expect to pay more for that ring. Oh, and by the way, a third of the world's diamonds come from Russia, or I guess I should say came from Russia due to the sanctions. They're not coming out of Russia any longer.