National / Social Issues

Estimate predicts that by 2045, population will drop everywhere except in Tokyo

Kyodo, JIJI

Japan’s population will fall everywhere except in Tokyo by 2045 and even growth in the capital will likely be marginal, according to a government estimate released Friday.

The estimate by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research said Japan’s population is expected to stand at 106.42 million in 2045, down about 20 million from 2015. The estimate is based on the 2015 national census.

Last April, the institute said the population would slip below 100 million in 2053 and shrink to 88.08 million by 2065.

According to the institute’s prefecture-by-prefecture breakdown, the ratio of people 65 or older will pass 30 percent in all 47 prefectures in 2045, even though a recent pickup in the birthrate is slowing shrinkage.

Over the 30-year period, the institute said Tokyo’s population is expected to grow by a marginal 0.7 percent while Akita Prefecture will take the biggest plunge in population with a 41.2 percent drop.

In 2045, Akita is also projected to be the prefecture with the highest ratio of people 65 and older, at 50.1 percent, and the smallest ratio of children under 15, at 7.4 percent.

By municipality, the village of Kawakami in Nara Prefecture was headed to experience the nation’s largest drop in population in 2045, shrinking by 79.4 percent. Kawakami was followed by Utashinai, Hokkaido, at 77.3 percent and the village of Nanmoku, Gunma Prefecture, at 77 percent.

People, meanwhile, will continue to converge on metropolitan areas, with Tokyo hosting 12.8 percent of the population, followed by Kanagawa with 7.8 percent and Osaka at 6.9 percent, according to the projection. That means more than one in every four residents will be residing in those three prefectures.

The three municipalities with the highest forecasted population increases were all wards in Tokyo. Chuo topped the list at 34.9 percent, followed by Minato at 34.4 percent and Chiyoda at 32.8 percent.