Japan Population

Population now

125,649,465
  • World: 11th
  • Asia: 6th
Male:61,347,364(48.83 %)
Female:64,302,102(51.17 %)
Births in 2020:1,122,238
Deaths in 2020:1,707,550

Life expectancy & Rates (2020)

Male:81.64 years
Female:87.81 years
Total:84.65 years
Median Age:47.36 years
Birth Rate:7.19
Death Rate:10.94
Growth Rate:-0.34 %
Fertility Rate:1.36

Population Data Graphs

  • Total population
  • Birth & Death rate
  • Life expectancy
  • Median Age
  • Population structure (mid 2020)
  • 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%244.82
196195M47M48M0.971.30%17.007.402.0568.3165.9170.8324.7464.21%251.28
196296M47M49M0.971.28%17.107.502.0168.5966.1971.1225.0965.14%253.63
196397M48M49M0.971.49%17.407.002.0269.6667.1872.2625.4566.06%256.23
196498M48M50M0.971.58%17.806.902.0570.1367.6372.7625.8166.97%258.91
196599M49M50M0.971.63%18.707.102.1470.2067.6872.8526.1767.87%261.71
1966100M49M51M0.971.03%13.806.801.5870.9968.4573.6526.4868.70%264.11
1967101M50M51M0.971.90%19.406.702.0271.2868.7473.9426.8169.52%266.58
1968101M50M51M0.971.75%18.706.802.1371.6169.0674.2927.1470.32%267.47
1969103M51M52M0.971.72%18.506.802.1371.8469.1974.6227.4771.10%273.06
1970104M51M53M0.971.71%18.706.902.1471.9569.3674.6727.7871.88%276.17
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
1973108M53M55M0.971.94%19.406.602.1473.7671.6675.9628.6074.22%286.05
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%296.27
1976113M56M57M0.971.61%16.206.201.8575.4673.7377.2729.6675.94%298.47
1977114M56M58M0.971.57%15.406.001.8075.9074.0377.8630.1476.00%301.36
1978115M57M58M0.981.47%14.806.001.7976.0473.9778.2130.6576.06%304.10
1979116M57M59M0.981.39%14.105.901.7776.3474.0478.7531.1276.12%306.67
1980117M58M59M0.981.21%13.506.101.7576.0973.5678.7531.5576.18%309.08
1981118M58M60M0.981.13%13.006.101.7476.4173.7979.1732.0476.27%311.37
1982118M58M60M0.971.13%12.806.001.7776.9274.2479.7432.5076.38%313.49
1983119M59M60M0.971.05%12.706.201.8076.9674.2279.8432.9676.49%315.64
1984120M59M61M0.971.02%12.506.201.8177.3774.5880.2933.4676.60%317.65
1985121M60M61M0.970.92%11.906.201.7677.6574.8780.5734.0076.71%319.59
1986121M60M62M0.970.84%11.406.201.7278.0675.2581.0234.4276.84%321.55
1987122M60M62M0.970.66%11.106.701.6978.4875.6381.4834.8676.96%323.13
1988123M60M62M0.970.66%10.806.501.6678.4075.5781.3735.3377.09%324.51
1989123M61M62M0.970.59%10.206.401.5778.8275.9481.8435.8177.21%325.85
1990124M61M63M0.970.49%10.006.701.5478.8475.9181.9136.2877.34%326.96
1991124M61M63M0.970.48%9.906.701.5379.1076.1382.2236.7277.47%327.98
1992124M61M63M0.970.42%9.806.901.5079.1576.1182.3537.1577.61%328.79
1993125M61M63M0.970.35%9.607.101.4679.2976.2482.5037.5777.75%329.60
1994125M62M63M0.970.41%10.007.101.5079.6976.5782.9637.9877.88%330.73
1995125M62M64M0.970.29%9.547.411.4279.5476.3982.8438.4078.02%331.99
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%336.11
2017127M62M65M0.95-0.30%7.6010.801.4384.1081.0987.2646.1691.54%335.56
2018127M62M65M0.95-0.33%7.4011.001.4284.2181.2587.3246.5791.62%334.88
2019126M62M65M0.95-0.33%7.4011.001.4284.2181.2587.3246.9691.70%334.18
2020126M61M64M0.95-0.34%7.1910.941.3684.6581.6487.8147.3691.78%332.87

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
2021125M61M64M0.95-0.36%7.1411.161.3684.7781.7687.9347.7491.87%331.52
2022125M61M64M0.95-0.38%7.0811.381.3784.8981.8788.0548.1691.96%330.10
2023124M61M64M0.95-0.39%7.0311.611.3785.0081.9988.1648.6192.04%328.58
2024124M60M63M0.95-0.41%6.9711.831.3885.1282.1088.2849.0892.13%326.97
2025123M60M63M0.95-0.43%6.9212.051.3885.2482.2288.4049.4892.23%325.26
2026122M60M63M0.95-0.43%6.9312.251.3985.3682.3488.5249.8092.32%323.47
2027122M59M62M0.95-0.44%6.9412.451.4085.4882.4688.6450.1192.41%321.60
2028121M59M62M0.95-0.45%6.9512.651.4185.6182.5988.7750.4292.51%319.67
2029120M58M62M0.95-0.46%6.9612.851.4285.7382.7188.8950.7392.61%317.69
2030119M58M61M0.95-0.47%6.9713.051.4385.8582.8389.0151.0792.70%315.68
2031119M58M61M0.95-0.47%7.0013.221.4485.9782.9589.1351.3492.80%313.66
2032118M57M60M0.95-0.47%7.0413.401.4586.0983.0789.2551.5992.90%311.63
2033117M57M60M0.95-0.48%7.0713.571.4586.2083.1989.3751.8293.00%309.60
2034116M57M60M0.95-0.48%7.1113.751.4686.3283.3189.4952.0593.11%307.59
2035115M56M59M0.95-0.49%7.1413.921.4786.4483.4389.6152.2893.21%305.59
2036115M56M59M0.95-0.49%7.1714.041.4886.5683.5589.7352.4693.31%303.61
2037114M55M59M0.95-0.49%7.2114.161.4886.6883.6689.8552.6393.41%301.67
2038113M55M58M0.95-0.49%7.2414.281.4986.7983.7889.9652.7993.52%299.77
2039113M55M58M0.95-0.49%7.2814.401.4986.9183.8990.0852.9693.62%297.89
2040112M54M57M0.95-0.50%7.3114.521.5087.0384.0190.2053.1293.72%296.04
2041111M54M57M0.95-0.50%7.3214.561.5187.1584.1390.3253.2393.83%294.22
2042110M54M57M0.95-0.50%7.3314.601.5187.2684.2490.4353.3293.93%292.41
2043110M53M56M0.95-0.50%7.3514.641.5287.3884.3690.5553.4094.04%290.61
2044109M53M56M0.95-0.50%7.3614.681.5287.4984.4790.6653.4794.14%288.81
2045108M53M56M0.95-0.50%7.3714.721.5387.6184.5990.7853.5694.24%287.01
2046108M52M55M0.95-0.50%7.3514.711.5487.7284.7190.8953.5894.33%285.20
2047107M52M55M0.95-0.50%7.3314.701.5487.8484.8291.0153.5994.43%283.38
2048106M52M55M0.95-0.50%7.3114.701.5587.9584.9491.1253.6094.53%281.53
2049106M51M54M0.95-0.50%7.2914.691.5588.0785.0591.2453.6494.62%279.66
2050105M51M54M0.95-0.50%7.2714.681.5688.1885.1791.3553.7194.71%277.70

Highest City Populations in Japan

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RankCityPopulation, Urban AreaPopulation, City
1Tokyo37,382,8778,336,599
2Osaka19,151,0202,592,413
3Nagoya9,556,8212,191,279
4Kitakyushu5,526,349997,536
5Shizuoka2,924,410701,561
6Sapporo2,670,4821,883,027
7Sendai2,329,1691,063,103
8Hiroshima2,081,5541,143,841
9Niigata803,277505,272
10Kumamoto742,759680,423
11Okayama725,000639,652
12Kagoshima590,277555,352
13Utsunomiya522,000449,865
14Matsuyama509,518443,322
15Oita478,759448,907
16Kurashiki475,759437,581
17Kanazawa465,759458,937
18Fukuyama464,759383,298
19Takamatsu419,759334,223
20Nagasaki413,036410,204
21Toyama412,518325,532
22Miyazaki398,759311,203
23Nagano371,518360,176
24Toyohashi370,759371,000
25Takasaki368,759240,857
26Iwaki356,241356,000
27Maebashi330,759282,711
28Koriyama330,759331,000
29Asahikawa330,518331,000
30Kochi329,518330,000
31Naha321,000300,795
32Akita306,518307,000
33Kurume305,000238,197

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