Shrinking Japan: The numbers behind a country in transition

TOKYO – The results of Japan’s latest census show the population, which hit 127.1 million in 2015, is clearly in decline. Below are some highlights from the data:

WHEN POPULATION PEAKED: In 2010, at 128.1 million, according to the census, which is conducted once every five years.

TOKYO RISING: Tokyo, with 13.5 million people, is still growing. Its wider metropolitan area, including three surrounding prefectures, is home to 36.1 million people, or more than one in four Japanese.

TENTH BIGGEST: Data from the government show Japan is the world’s 10th most populous country, between Russia, with 143 million people, and Mexico, with 127 million.

STILL CROWDED: As the ninth-most crowded country in terms of population density, Japan has 341 people per square kilometre. Bangladesh is the most jam-packed, with 1,237 people per square kilometre. Tokyo’s population density is 6,168 people per square kilometre, the highest in the country.

GETTING OLDER: According to other government figures, 26 per cent of Japanese are older than 65. By 2050, more than one in three will be over 65.