Tokyo’s population shrank last year for the first time in a quarter century as more businesses turned to remote work amid the pandemic.

The population of the capital dropped by about 48,600 people to just under 14 million at the start of 2022, the first decline since 1996, the metropolitan government reported Monday.

Japan has been trying for years to revive its regional economies and stop Tokyo from gobbling up more and more of the nation’s shrinking population. Now, the coronavirus appears to have done what no government policy could: stem the flow of people into the crowded city.