The continuing fall in birth rates has left the child population in Japan at a record low since comparable data became available in 1950. Of countries with a population over 40 million, Japan has the lowest proportion of children in the population. 12.1% of the Japanese population are children, South Korea is similar with 12.9%, with Italy and Germany the next lowest at 13.4%. In Japan the current population is 126 million, however it is forecast to fall below 100 million by 2050. Last month Japan started to increase the number of foreign workers allowed into the country to ease the current labour shortages.