Japan Data

Population Inflow to Tokyo Continues as Japanese Seek Commuting Convenience


As the Tokyo metropolitan area continues to be a magnet for new residents, just eight Japanese prefectures showed a net population increase in 2018.

In 2018 net migration to Tokyo totaled 79,844 people, an increase of 9.2% over the previous year. The 2018 Report on Internal Migration in Japan issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications shows that only eight prefectures saw a net increase in population: Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba, Aichi, Fukuoka, Osaka, and Shiga. The influx of population to Tokyo is particularly striking, with no signs of an end to the trend toward population overconcentration in the capital.

Prefectures with Population Increases from Internal Migration in 2018

Tokyo 79,844
Saitama 24,652
Kanagawa 23,483
Chiba 11,889
Aichi 3,112
Fukuoka 2,889
Osaka 2,388
Shiga 409

Created by Nippon.com based on the 2018 Report on Internal Migration in Japan.

Of Japan’s three main urban areas, the Tokyo metropolitan area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba Prefectures) saw a net population increase of 139,868 in 2018. In contrast, the population in the metropolitan areas of Nagoya (Aichi, Gifu, and Mie Prefectures) and Osaka (Osaka, Hyōgo, Kyoto, and Nara Prefectures) fell by 7,376 and 9,438, respectively. Among the prefectures of the country’s second- and third-largest conurbations, only centrally located Aichi and Osaka saw a population increase in 2018. As more and more people seek to live near their workplaces, population density in the Tokyo metropolitan area continues to rise. In a concurrent trend, population in other parts of Japan tends to gravitate to the core cities of each main economic zone.

Almost all of the 10 cities with the greatest population increases in 2018 were in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Only Osaka and Sapporo represented the rest of the country, ranking second and fifth, respectively.

Cities with the Highest Population Influx

Tokyo (23 municipalities) 60,909
Osaka 12,081
Saitama 9,345
Kawasaki 8,342
Sapporo 8,283
Yokohama 8,187
Fukuoka 6,138
Nagareyama (Chiba) 4,381
Funabashi (Chiba) 3,499
Kawaguchi (Saitama) 3,432

Created by Nippon.com based on the 2018 Report on Internal Migration in Japan.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

Tokyo population