Japanese town to pay cash to women who bear third child

Even as world population balloons (6,424,599,962 and counting), some countries that have been experiencing declining birthrates, such as Italy and Japan, are worried — and not just about loneliness. The elderly worry new generations will be too small to support them, and the business community worries that the labor pool will shrink too much. Meanwhile, the town of Yamatsuri, Japan — population 7,000 — is worried about its very existence. On Friday, officials announced the town would begin paying women some $9,600 in cash when they bear a third child. To promote baby-making countrywide, the Japanese central government has been encouraging dads to take paternity leave and has also been building more daycare facilities. Japan’s population is expected to peak at almost 128 million next year before dropping to about 100 million over the next 50.