Before I get into analyzing the case studies of birth rates, I decided to get myself familiarized with the set of basic knowledge for population studies by making use of the e-library of University of Minnesota. Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World is a textbook used for courses offered by the Department of Sociology of the university, and the Chapter 19 of the book, titled “Population and Urbanization,” provides explanations for basic principles and vocabulary which will be the basis of the future case studies I will be conducting.
I grew up hearing that my home country, Japan, is aging. I grew up being told that people of my generation would have to support older generations’ social welfare in the future. At the same time, however, I had never felt a serious sense of danger until I started studying abroad. As I lived 6000 miles away from my home, the notion of my country steadily aging and shrinking on the other side of the globe suddenly became alarming to me. The concern for my country eventually became a motivation for me to start conducting research on dissecting determinants of birth rates from an interdisciplinary approach.