Japan Population

Population now

124,853,525
  • World: 11th
  • Asia: 6th
Male:60,933,068(48.81 %)
Female:63,919,021(51.19 %)
Births in 2022:1,221,744
Deaths in 2022:1,994,318

Life expectancy & Rates (2022)

Male:81.64 years
Female:87.74 years
Total:84.62 years
Median Age:48.16 years
Birth Rate:6.80
Death Rate:11.10
Growth Rate:-0.39 %
Fertility Rate:1.34

Population Data Graphs

  • Total population
  • Birth & Death rate
  • Life expectancy
  • Median Age
  • Population structure (mid 2022)
  • Urbanization

Japan Population Review

The island nation of Japan has is located in the northern hemisphere and off the eastern seaboard of the Eurasian continent. This crescent-shaped archipelago of islands consists of five main islands, with 6,800 smaller islands of different sizes. In total, Japan covers just over 378,000 square kilometers.

The country has over 125 million people living within its borders. This puts it as the 11th most densely populated country among countries with a population of 10 million or more and makes up 1.7 percent of the world’s total population.

A shrinking population

From the 18th through to the 18th century, Japan’s population stayed steady at around 30 million people. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the country’s population began to boom as they moved towards becoming a modern nation-state. By the 1920s, the population had doubled to 60 million. The population continued to rise and in the 1960s, it moved past 100 million. While the country’s population continued to rise to top 128 million people by 2008, the country has seen since a dramatic decline in population.

By 2015, the country’s population had dropped by over 900,000 people from 2010 census. This was the first decline the country had seen since the 1920s. In 2017, the country announced only 946,060 births. These were the fewest births recorded since 1899. In the same year, 1,340,433 people died. This meant that the population declined by almost 400,000 people.

Government programs attempt to encourage growth

Even though the Japanese government enacted programs in the 1990s to encourage having children, it hasn’t shown any success. This decline is due in part to a dropping fertility rate and an aging population. As Japan’s elderly continue to die and not enough children are born to replace them, the country’s population is predicted to continue shrinking.

The country’s only hope for maintaining its population is to look to immigration, however, the Japanese government seems reluctant to accept this. Even though the country had over 1.3 million foreign workers in the country, few were offered permanent residency and they are not permitted to bring their families to discourage their willingness to stay in the country.

The second highest life expectancy in the world

While the Japanese population might not be producing many children, their senior population is living longer than almost any other group on earth. Living to a ripe old average of 84.77, Japan’s life expectancy is only second to that of Hong Kong at 85. This dwarfs the life expectancy of many developed countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Japan also has the highest median age in the world at 47 years of age.

An upward trend in divorces

Japan experienced a marriage boom in the 1970s, with the marriage around 10 per 1,000 people and the annual number of marriage exceeding one million. Unfortunately, this has been declining ever since. By 2018, the marriage rate had fallen to 4.7 and only 586,000 couples had married.

On average, people in Japan marry in their late twenties to early thirties. There has been an increasing trend towards marrying older in Japan, and one unique trend that has arisen is for people who have never married to marry at exactly 50 years old.

The combination of the dropping marriage rate, the rising age of marriage, and the increased acceptance of those who choose not to marry could also help explain the country’s declining birth rate. While the divorce rate did trend upwards in the late 1960s, it peaked in 2012 and has since been in decline, with the divorce rate in 2018 at 1.68 per 1,000 people.

Most of the population lives in three cities

Japan has a population density of 336 people per square kilometer. However, 51% of the country’s population lives within three major metropolitans: the Kanto, Chukyo, and Kinki areas. Population density within these areas in significantly higher, with 2,771 living per square kilometer in the Kanto major metropolitan district, 1,288 per kilometer in the Chukyo district, and 1,459 people per square kilometer in the Kinki district.

While it used to be common for Japanese extended families to live under one roof, the small living quarters in Japan’s large cities make it difficult for multigenerational living, though families still often live in close proximity.

Review Updated: April 29, 2020

Japan Population History

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YearTotalMaleFemaleSex RatioGrowth rateBirth rateDeath rateFerti­lity rate
Life exp., total
Life expectancy
Life exp., maleLife exp., femaleMedian AgeUrbani­zation
Density, people / km2
Density, people/km2
196093M46M47M0.971.28%17.307.602.0067.6765.3170.1424.3963.27%246.71
196194M46M48M0.971.30%17.007.402.0568.3165.9170.8324.7464.21%248.93
196295M47M48M0.971.28%17.107.502.0168.5966.1971.1225.0965.14%251.26
196396M47M49M0.971.49%17.407.002.0269.6667.1872.2625.4566.06%253.81
196497M48M49M0.971.58%17.806.902.0570.1367.6372.7625.8166.97%256.47
196598M48M50M0.971.63%18.707.102.1470.2067.6872.8526.1767.87%259.25
196699M49M50M0.971.03%13.806.801.5870.9968.4573.6526.4868.70%261.62
1967100M49M51M0.971.90%19.406.702.0271.2868.7473.9426.8169.52%264.35
1968101M50M51M0.971.75%18.706.802.1371.6169.0674.2927.1470.32%267.34
1969102M50M52M0.971.72%18.506.802.1371.8469.1974.6227.4771.10%270.54
1970103M51M52M0.971.71%18.706.902.1471.9569.3674.6727.7871.88%273.67
1971106M52M54M0.971.94%19.106.502.1672.8870.4075.4928.0872.67%279.74
1972107M53M54M0.972.00%19.206.402.1473.5171.1775.9628.3573.45%283.69
1973109M54M55M0.971.94%19.406.602.1473.7671.6675.9628.6074.22%287.71
1974110M54M56M0.971.88%18.406.402.0574.3972.5576.3328.8874.98%291.56
1975112M55M57M0.971.74%17.006.201.9175.0673.3576.8529.2675.72%295.30
1976113M56M57M0.971.61%16.206.201.8575.4673.7377.2729.6675.94%298.48
1977114M56M58M0.971.57%15.406.001.8075.9074.0377.8630.1476.00%301.38
1978115M57M58M0.981.47%14.806.001.7976.0473.9778.2130.6576.06%304.14
1979116M57M59M0.981.39%14.105.901.7776.3474.0478.7531.1276.12%306.72
1980117M58M59M0.981.21%13.506.101.7576.0973.5678.7531.5576.18%309.15
1981118M58M60M0.981.13%13.006.101.7476.4173.7979.1732.0476.27%311.41
1982118M58M60M0.971.13%12.806.001.7776.9274.2479.7432.5076.38%313.58
1983119M59M60M0.971.05%12.706.201.8076.9674.2279.8432.9676.49%315.76
1984120M59M61M0.971.02%12.506.201.8177.3774.5880.2933.4676.60%317.82
1985121M60M61M0.970.92%11.906.201.7677.6574.8780.5734.0076.71%319.81
1986121M60M62M0.970.84%11.406.201.7278.0675.2581.0234.4276.84%321.52
1987122M60M62M0.970.66%11.106.701.6978.4875.6381.4834.8676.96%323.07
1988123M60M62M0.970.66%10.806.501.6678.4075.5781.3735.3377.09%324.42
1989123M61M62M0.970.59%10.206.401.5778.8275.9481.8435.8177.21%325.72
1990123M61M63M0.970.49%10.006.701.5478.8475.9181.9136.2877.34%326.80
1991124M61M63M0.970.48%9.906.701.5379.1076.1382.2236.7277.47%328.09
1992124M61M63M0.970.42%9.806.901.5079.1576.1182.3537.1577.61%329.31
1993125M61M63M0.970.35%9.607.101.4679.2976.2482.5037.5777.75%330.38
1994125M62M64M0.970.41%10.007.101.5079.6976.5782.9637.9877.88%331.30
1995125M62M64M0.970.29%9.547.411.4279.5476.3982.8438.4078.02%332.08
1996126M62M64M0.970.35%9.607.101.4380.2077.0183.5538.8078.15%332.84
1997126M62M64M0.970.30%9.507.301.3980.4277.1983.8239.1678.27%333.63
1998126M62M64M0.970.28%9.607.501.3880.5077.1684.0139.4978.40%334.54
1999127M62M64M0.970.19%9.307.801.3480.5777.4083.9039.8378.52%335.15
2000127M62M65M0.960.22%9.407.701.3681.0877.7284.6040.2078.65%335.71
2001127M62M65M0.960.21%9.307.701.3381.4278.1084.9040.5579.99%336.52
2002127M63M65M0.960.15%9.308.101.3281.5678.1085.2040.9181.65%337.30
2003128M63M65M0.960.10%9.208.401.2981.7678.3685.3341.2883.20%338.03
2004128M63M65M0.960.08%8.698.051.2982.0378.6485.5941.6484.64%338.14
2005128M63M65M0.96-0.01%8.418.531.2681.9378.5385.4942.0085.98%338.17
2006128M63M65M0.960.01%8.658.531.3282.3279.0085.8142.3387.12%338.39
2007128M63M65M0.96-0.01%8.638.711.3482.5179.1985.9942.6588.15%338.77
2008128M63M65M0.96-0.04%8.709.101.3782.5979.2986.0542.9789.10%338.94
2009128M63M65M0.96-0.07%8.509.101.3782.9379.5986.4443.3189.99%338.90
2010128M63M65M0.96-0.11%8.509.501.3982.8479.5586.3043.6590.81%338.96
2011128M63M65M0.96-0.16%8.309.901.3982.5979.4485.9043.9491.07%338.33
2012128M62M65M0.96-0.18%8.2010.001.4183.1079.9486.4144.2491.15%337.79
2013127M62M65M0.96-0.19%8.2010.101.4383.3380.2186.6144.5791.23%337.30
2014127M62M65M0.96-0.21%8.0010.101.4283.5980.5086.8344.9491.30%336.86
2015127M62M65M0.96-0.22%8.0010.301.4583.7980.7586.9945.3591.38%336.50
2016127M62M65M0.96-0.26%7.8010.501.4483.9880.9887.1445.7591.46%336.33
2017127M62M65M0.95-0.30%7.6010.801.4384.1081.0987.2646.1691.54%336.05
2018127M62M65M0.95-0.33%7.4011.001.4284.2181.2587.3246.5791.62%335.63
2019127M62M65M0.95-0.36%7.0011.001.3684.3681.4187.4546.9691.70%335.15
2020126M62M65M0.95-0.39%6.8011.101.3484.6281.6487.7447.3691.78%334.17
2021126M61M64M0.95-0.39%6.8011.101.3484.6281.6487.7447.7591.87%332.64
2022125M61M64M0.95-0.39%6.8011.101.3484.6281.6487.7448.1691.96%331.11

Japan Population Projections

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YearTotalMaleFemaleSex RatioGrowth rateBirth rateDeath rateFerti­lity rate
Life exp., total
Life expectancy
Life exp., maleLife exp., femaleMedian AgeUrbani­zation
Density, people / km2
Density, people/km2
2023125M61M64M0.95-0.41%6.8711.671.3684.9981.9988.1448.6192.04%329.53
2024124M60M63M0.95-0.42%6.9011.861.3785.1282.1088.2749.0892.13%327.88
2025123M60M63M0.95-0.43%6.9212.051.3885.2482.2288.4049.4892.23%326.16
2026123M60M63M0.95-0.43%6.9312.251.3985.3682.3488.5249.8092.32%324.35
2027122M59M62M0.95-0.44%6.9412.451.4085.4882.4688.6450.1192.41%322.47
2028121M59M62M0.95-0.45%6.9512.651.4185.6182.5988.7750.4192.51%320.53
2029120M59M62M0.95-0.46%6.9612.851.4285.7382.7188.8950.7392.61%318.53
2030120M58M61M0.95-0.47%6.9713.051.4385.8582.8389.0151.0792.70%316.50
2031119M58M61M0.95-0.47%7.0013.221.4485.9782.9589.1351.3492.80%314.44
2032118M57M61M0.95-0.47%7.0413.401.4586.0983.0789.2551.5992.90%312.38
2033117M57M60M0.95-0.48%7.0713.571.4586.2083.1989.3751.8293.00%310.33
2034116M57M60M0.95-0.48%7.1113.751.4686.3283.3189.4952.0593.11%308.29
2035116M56M59M0.95-0.49%7.1413.921.4786.4483.4389.6152.2893.21%306.27
2036115M56M59M0.95-0.49%7.1714.041.4886.5683.5589.7352.4693.31%304.27
2037114M56M59M0.95-0.49%7.2114.161.4886.6883.6689.8552.6393.41%302.31
2038113M55M58M0.95-0.49%7.2414.281.4986.7983.7889.9652.7993.52%300.39
2039113M55M58M0.95-0.49%7.2814.401.4986.9183.8990.0852.9693.62%298.50
2040112M55M58M0.95-0.50%7.3114.521.5087.0384.0190.2053.1293.72%296.64
2041111M54M57M0.95-0.50%7.3214.561.5187.1584.1390.3253.2393.83%294.80
2042111M54M57M0.95-0.50%7.3314.601.5187.2684.2490.4353.3293.93%292.99
2043110M54M56M0.95-0.50%7.3514.641.5287.3884.3690.5553.4094.04%291.19
2044109M53M56M0.95-0.50%7.3614.681.5287.4984.4790.6653.4794.14%289.39
2045109M53M56M0.95-0.50%7.3714.721.5387.6184.5990.7853.5694.24%287.58
2046108M53M55M0.95-0.50%7.3514.711.5487.7284.7190.8953.5894.33%285.76
2047107M52M55M0.95-0.50%7.3314.701.5487.8484.8291.0153.5894.43%283.92
2048107M52M55M0.95-0.50%7.3114.701.5587.9584.9491.1253.6094.53%282.06
2049106M52M54M0.95-0.50%7.2914.691.5588.0785.0591.2453.6494.62%280.16
2050105M51M54M0.95-0.50%7.2714.681.5688.1885.1791.3553.7194.71%278.20

Highest City Populations in Japan

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RankCityPopulation, Urban AreaPopulation, City
1Tokyo37,245,2158,336,599
2Osaka19,037,7572,753,862
3Nagoya9,574,6172,191,279
4Kitakyushu5,497,330940,978
5Shizuoka2,937,181690,881
6Sapporo2,668,5641,973,832
7Sendai2,342,1811,096,704
8Hiroshima2,069,3831,199,391
9Niigata799,128797,591
10Kumamoto739,564738,907
11Okayama722,564720,841
12Kagoshima585,128586,000
13Utsunomiya520,564449,865
14Matsuyama506,564507,000
15Oita477,564477,715
16Kurashiki473,564474,000
17Kanazawa463,564464,000
18Fukuyama463,564464,000
19Takamatsu417,564418,000
20Toyama409,128410,000
21Nagasaki405,692407,000
22Miyazaki396,564397,000
23Toyohashi368,564369,000
24Nagano368,564360,176
25Takasaki366,564367,000
26Iwaki356,000356,000
27Koriyama327,564322,996
28Maebashi326,128282,711
29Kochi325,128326,000
30Asahikawa324,692326,000
31Naha319,564317,405
32Kurume304,000303,579
33Akita302,128303,000

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