This is from the headline of a news article in NHK News Easy.
Can someone explain this one to me? Thanks!
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"で" in the above sentence is difined by jisho.org here as:
2. indicates time of action
My attempt for the given sentence is as follows.
The population of Japan decreases. The number of babies is the smallest up to now.
I posted the closest one in jisho.org here as an answer, but since I got a down vote, I'll correct it.
I looked で up in various dictionaries, but I couldn't find an explanation that is perfect, but I think that the next one is better.
で is a particle that indicates time range for establishing a certain fact.
The fact is "the number of babies (born over a certain period of time) is the smallest" in the given sentence.
で has many roles, but in this case it's a condition/situation/scope marker. It denotes the condition in which the modified word is applied. It's translated to various English prepositions, including "in", "among" and "under".
今まで少ない (without で) would mean "(something) has been low/scarce up until now".