Japan Population 2017

127,477,136

Japan, the island nation in East Asia, is a fairly sizable archipelago of 6,852 islands, although the four largest islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shitoku) account for 97% of its population. The last set of official figures pertaining to Japan’s population were released at the time of the 2010 census and the final statistics showed there were 128,056,026 people there, which would make Japan the tenth largest country in the world. The most recent estimate places the number lower at 126.82 million, still the world's 10th most populous country. Though in decline, it still holds that position in 2017 with an estimated 127.48 million people.

The commonly held view that the population of Japan is in line for a sharp decline is backed up by the numbers. Based on the projections by the United Nations (visible in the graph below), the downturn will continue, and possibly accelerate.

Japan is comprised of more than 6,800 islands, although its largest four claim 97% of its population. The 2016 estimated population of 127 million represents a major decline from its official 2010 census, and this is a major problem that Japan will need to face in coming years.

As we’ve seen, the final census figures for 2010 showed a final count of 128,056,026 people with a population density of 336 people per square kilometers, thereby making Japan the 40th most densely populated country on the planet.

Japan Demographics

Unlike many other countries around the world today, the population of Japan appears largely homogenous with the final population statistics comprised of a 98.5% contribution from ethnic Japanese people. In addition, there is a very small proportion of foreign workers living here, largely made up of Koreans, Chinese, Peruvians and Brazilians.

The largest native ethnic group in Japan is the Yamato people, although large minority groups include the indigenous Ryukyuan and Ainu peoples. While Japan may seem homogenous in terms of ethnicity and culture, this may be due to Japan's absence of racial and ethnic statistics for Japanese nationals. The country has traditionally rejected the need to recognize ethnic differences in Japan, and former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso once described the country as one of "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture and one race."

Japan is currently the world's oldest country, and it's set to get even older. In 2050, it's estimated by the government that 40% of Japan's population will be over 65. In the last few decades, the country's social security budget has increased 15%. While 5 decades ago there were 12 workers for every retiree, there will be an equal 1:1 ratio in 50 years. This is one of any demographics problems Japan must address.

Reasons for Falling Numbers

Some reports claim that Japan’s total population could fall by as much as 30% to around 87 million by 2050 and the reasons, quite simply, point to a disparity in the birth and death rates. In addition, it’s impossible to rule out the part that the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake played. 19,000 people lost their lives at the time, and it’s widely accepted that the incidents will have a ‘knock-on’ effect of reducing overall life expectancy.

The difference between rising death rates and lower birth rates is also clearly a factor with low fertility rates among women shouldering part of the blame. Experts attribute Japan's low growth to the high cost of raising children in the country, the growing number of women who choose to work longer and have a career rather than have children, and Japan's reluctance to accept immigrants.

Another statistic that doesn’t help the population decline is the alarming number of suicides in young people.

Unfortunately, Japan has one of the world's highest suicide rates, and suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 30. Factors in suicides in the country include social pressure, depression and unemployment, and the National Police Agency found that suicides linked to job loss increased 65.4%. There was a suicide in Japan every 15 minutes, with close to 33,000 reported in 2009. Luckily, suicide rates have been on the decline for three consecutive years. This is just one of the many problems Japan will need to control to see its population and economy grow into the future.

The Future of Japan

Overall, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world even though it is expected to fall slightly in the near future. However, with low birth rates, the population is rapidly aging but in 2007, the country announced its first significant birth rate increase in many years, so could the predictions be false?

Incentives to have more children are also being announced, but as a whole, the country is just starting to feel the effects of a post-war baby boom, many of whom are now nearing the end of their years.

Slowing population growth and an aging population are creating more than a headache for the island nation, as this problem is shrinking its pool of taxable citizens, causing the social welfare costs to skyrocket, and has led to Japan becoming the most indebted industrial nation with public debt that is double its economy.

It's possible that Japan's population will drop to just 96 million (from 2013's 126 million) by 2050, and the country as a whole is involved in serious debate about how to fix this problem. While birth incentives and immigration incentives are often suggested as the solution to bring the young workers necessary to support the country's aging population, time will tell if this is enough.

Japan's population growth rate in 2011 slowed to just 0.02%, a record low. This rate was actually higher than expected, according to an internal affairs ministry official.

Japan Population in 2018Source: Morio

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Japan Population Growth

Japan's efforts to increase its birth rate have been unsuccessful and the country's population is slowly declining. The population may fall to just 107 million from the current 126.6 million by 2050.

About Japan

Official NameJapan
Languages SpokenJapanese
Borders
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude36138
Currencies UsedJPY

Japan Population Density

Name Population
Tokyo8,336,599
Yokohama3,574,443
Osaka-shi2,592,413
Nagoya-shi2,191,279
Sapporo1,883,027
Kobe1,528,478
Kyoto1,459,640
Fukuoka-shi1,392,289
Kawasaki1,306,785
Saitama1,193,350
Hiroshima-shi1,143,841
Yono1,077,730
Sendai-shi1,063,103
Sendai1,063,103
Kitakyushu997,536
Chiba919,729
Sakai782,339
Shizuoka-shi701,561
Kumamoto680,423
Okayama-shi639,652
Hamamatsu605,098
Hachioji579,399
Funabashi560,743
Kagoshima-shi555,352
Niigata-shi505,272
Himeji481,493
Matsudo470,277
Nishinomiya-hama468,925
Kawaguchi468,565
Kanazawa-shi458,937
Utsunomiya-shi449,865
Oita448,907
Matsuyama443,322
Amagasaki442,173
Kurashiki437,581
Yokosuka428,992
Nagasaki-shi410,204
Hirakata406,331
Machida399,969
Gifu-shi397,714
Fujisawa394,624
Toyonaka384,459
Fukuyama383,298
Toyohashi378,374
Minato375,339
Nara-shi367,353
Toyota362,383
Nagano-shi360,176
Iwaki357,309
Asahikawa356,612
Takatsuki354,468
Okazaki352,361
Suita351,630
Wakayama-shi351,000
Koriyama340,560
Kashiwa340,221
Tokorozawa339,435
Kawagoe337,931
Kochi-shi335,570
Takamatsu-shi334,223
Akita Shi325,837
Toyama-shi325,532
Akita320,069
Koshigaya317,437
Miyazaki-shi311,203
Naha-shi300,795
Kasugai298,589
Aomori Shi298,394
Otsu-shi298,164
Akashi297,279
Yokkaichi295,841
Morioka-shi295,172
Fukushima-shi294,237
Ichihara283,531
Maebashi-shi282,711
Ichinomiya280,331
Hakodate275,730
Ibaraki273,992
Yao273,213
Kakogawacho-honmachi271,634
Tokushima-shi267,345
Hiratsuka259,052
Yamagata-shi254,538
Fukui-shi248,707
Mito-shi246,538
Shimonoseki245,786
Takasaki240,857
Fuji240,014
Hachinohe239,046
Neyagawa238,549
Kurume238,197
Sasebo237,444
Chigasaki231,657
Soka231,445
Atsugi229,199
Minami-rinkan224,015
Takarazuka219,789
Ageoshimo219,401
Chofugaoka212,977
Matsumoto210,667
Kasukabe206,915
Kishiwada205,561
Numazu204,318
Joetsu204,137
Odawara203,035
Kure196,624
Nagaoka195,318
Nishi-Tokyo-shi195,164
Itami193,524
Uji192,925
Suzuka191,477
Kofu-shi190,000
Izumi189,085
Hitachi186,307
Kushiro183,612
Mitaka-shi182,901
Sakura182,549
Kamirenjaku178,739
Anjo178,402
Tsukuba175,589
Hirosaki174,972
Tomakomai174,806
Hadano174,281
Obihiro173,890
Ube173,733
Hino171,777
Takaoka170,077
Kamakura166,016
Saga-shi165,236
Tsu-shi163,461
Sayama160,843
Kawanishi160,520
Oyama159,936
Ashikaga159,671
Matsue-shi156,811
Hitachi-Naka156,811
Nagareyama156,000
Katsuta155,968
Kumagaya155,813
Tottori154,098
Ota152,104
Komaki151,025
Ogaki150,570
Higashimurayama-shi150,556
Ome149,323
Moriguchi148,350
Yamaguchi-shi145,515
Otaru143,792
Urayasu143,758
Yonago141,368
Kariya139,159
Musashino137,479
Zama134,671
Seto134,246
Ebetsu133,953
Tondabayashicho132,873
Fujieda132,859
Sandacho132,858
Kakamigahara132,241
Omuta131,974
Abiko131,771
Kadoma131,727
Miyakonojo130,994
Matsubara130,855
Isesaki130,692
Daitocho129,521
Mino129,127
Asaka128,058
Kusatsu127,680
Ueda126,606
Okinawa125,483
Beppu125,065
Kashihara-shi124,521
Niihama123,059
Kisarazu122,524
Nobeoka121,949
Fujinomiya121,515
Noda121,411
Yaizu121,057
Toyokawa120,537
Shimotoda118,731
Kokubunji118,682
Ikoma117,601
Ishinomaki117,233
Hofu116,925
Handa116,119
Mishima113,479
Kitami113,137
Hikone110,925
Kiryu110,219
Komatsu109,045
Iwatsuki108,833
Tajimi107,818
Iida107,111
Fukayacho106,595
Yatsushiro104,341
Iwakuni104,004
Isehara103,401
Nishio103,337
Inazawa102,130
Tokuyama101,133
Narita100,641
Sakata100,446
Konan100,389
Chikushino-shi100,353
Tsuruoka99,820
Ikeda99,476
Isahaya97,371
Mobara97,315
Ise97,314
Kameoka97,181
Sakado96,656
Muroran96,197
Onojo94,957
Kanuma94,903
Yonezawa94,486
Kitakami93,854
Chitose92,942
Kaizuka92,632
Maizuru92,465
Kimitsu92,126
Ginowan91,800
Onomichi90,936
Omura89,918
Tsuyama89,717
Izumo89,286
Ashiya88,573
Iwata88,509
Konosu88,493
Nabari88,128
Yotsukaido86,701
Hamakita86,502
Gyoda86,343
Hanno86,262
Kashiwazaki86,183
Ryugasaki85,761
Iwamizawa85,107
Kakegawa84,004
Gotemba83,794
Yachimata83,322
Katori-shi83,181
Kamigyo-ku83,000
Sanjo82,893
Sano82,535
Kanoya82,335
Tochigi82,133
Tanashicho82,112
Marugame82,090
Yashio-shi81,345
Tatebayashi81,274
Shibata80,793
Gamagori80,786
Izumiotsu80,772
Toride80,716
Mihara80,387
Ushiku80,020
Kashihara79,058
Karatsu78,330
Iizuka78,206
Obu77,864
Wako77,435
Hatsukaichi77,341
Tsurusaki76,968
Furukawa76,312
Shimada75,781
Takefu75,753
Okegawa75,062
Miki74,701
Inuyama73,995
Kukichuo73,373
Satsumasendai73,132
Hanamaki73,115
Yawata71,656
Ito71,578
Kazo71,291
Yukuhashi71,277
Tenri71,052
Dazaifu70,587
Maebaru-chuo70,339
Tanabe69,563
Omihachiman69,189
Saku68,885
Hekinan68,872
Sukagawa68,790
Fukuchiyama68,735
Moriyama68,584
Tsuruga68,482
Matsuto68,159
Tamano67,786
Tsushima67,658
Nakatsu67,372
Shiojiri67,159
Chiryu67,062
Takayama66,636
Togane66,332
Sabae66,291
Niitsu-honcho65,910
Tanabe65,903
Kashima-shi65,814
Mooka65,717
Shiki65,411
Tendo65,393
Gushikawa65,251
Hasuda65,161
Odate64,543
Imaichi64,323
Narutocho-mitsuishi64,082
Shimodate63,666
Tosu63,595
Fujioka63,358
Fukuroi63,045
Ichinoseki62,970
Sakurai62,964
Kitahiroshima62,370
Fussa62,296
Ina62,104
Nagahama62,089
Honjo61,868
Ueno-ebisumachi61,598
Hita61,481
Toki61,394
Mizusawa61,281
Kuroiso61,230
Takaishi60,511
Yoshikawa60,510
Zushi60,055
Koga60,045
Nago59,587
Shiogama59,526
Uwajima58,971
Otawara58,888
Saijo58,823
Hanyu58,686
Chichibu58,507
Kasaoka58,461
Koga58,004
Imaricho-ko57,940
Kokubu-matsuki57,896
Soja57,469
Ishikari57,301
Itoman57,184
Hashimoto57,115
Sakaidecho57,090
Nogata56,821
Chino56,567
Moriya56,566
Tomigusuku55,715
Iwade55,633
Anan55,421
Nanto-shi55,315
Shiroi55,314
Satte55,286
Nakatsugawa55,011
Suwa54,735
Himi54,510
Okaya54,286
Suzaka54,022
Oami53,239
Muko53,222
Hatogaya-honcho53,062
Kudamatsu52,772
Kamifukuoka52,323
Ishioka52,304
Kariya52,015
Miyako51,721
Futtsu51,650
Tagawa51,608
Yuki51,574
Minokamo51,543
Miura51,483
Noshiromachi51,079
Shiraoka50,974
Kitaibaraki50,843
Fuchucho50,746
Oi50,593
Ono50,230
Tateyama50,064
Sugito49,817
Tokoname49,554
Tomioka49,281
Mutsu49,220
Goshogawara49,110
Saiki49,065
Masuda48,576
Nonoichi48,354
Kurayoshi48,347
Shibukawa48,322
Ami48,256
Annaka48,235
Iwakura48,007
Sasayama47,204
Sawara47,199
Inashiki46,994
Gujo46,918
Naka46,760
Nakama46,745
Toyooka46,500
Komoro46,272
Hikari45,885
Uozu45,848

Japan Population Clock

What is the population of Japan (as of 11/15/2017)?127,477,136
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2017)127,484,450
Births Per Day558
Deaths Per Day748
Net Migrations Per Day 137
Net Change Per Day -53
Population Change Since January 1st-16,907

Japan Population Indicators

IndicatorValue
Crude Birth Rate 8.082 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 10.838 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate 0.397 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 83.995 years
Male Life Expectancy 80.725 years
Female Life Expectancy 87.187 years
Total Fertility Rate 1.456 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 0.707 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.056 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 1.91 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 2.641 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 31.445 years
Rate of Natural Increase -2.837
Death Before 40 Probability (Total) 1.401%
Death Before 40 Probability (Male) 1.766%
Death Before 40 Probability (Female) 1.018%
Death Before 60 Probability (Total) 5.719%
Death Before 60 Probability (Male) 7.476%
Death Before 60 Probability (Female) 3.914%
Median Age (Total) 46.9 years
Median Age (Female) 48.3 years
Median Age (Male) 45.6 years

Japan Population History

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Growth Rate
2017127,484,45048.83%51.17%337-0.19%
2015127,974,95848.86%51.14%339-0.09%
2010128,551,87348.91%51.09%3400.03%
2005128,335,76749.00%51.00%3400.13%
2000127,533,93449.11%50.89%3370.18%
1995126,375,46649.21%50.79%3340.30%
1990124,515,56149.28%50.72%3290.43%
1985121,894,03849.35%50.65%3230.68%
1980117,827,35549.37%50.63%3120.94%
1975112,423,05549.36%50.64%2971.39%
1970104,925,64549.29%50.71%2781.28%
196598,447,00249.23%50.77%2601.00%
196093,673,61549.22%50.78%2481.02%
195589,018,25749.17%50.83%2361.46%
195082,802,08449.04%50.96%2190.00%

Japan Population Projections

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Growth Rate
2020126,495,64748.80%51.20%3350.00%
2025124,309,80848.73%51.27%329-0.35%
2030121,580,50548.67%51.33%322-0.44%
2035118,499,79048.62%51.38%314-0.51%
2040115,212,06748.61%51.39%305-0.56%
2045111,923,23848.64%51.36%296-0.58%
2050108,794,44648.67%51.33%288-0.57%
2055105,805,49648.65%51.35%280-0.56%
2060102,747,17748.61%51.39%272-0.58%
206599,543,48048.59%51.41%263-0.63%
207096,369,24248.65%51.35%255-0.65%
207593,477,60248.77%51.23%247-0.61%
208091,100,64348.89%51.11%241-0.51%
208589,125,91848.99%51.01%236-0.44%
209087,442,97749.05%50.95%231-0.38%
209585,934,29249.08%50.92%227-0.35%
Data Sources
  1. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.
  2. GeoNames Gazetteer