Hiroshima is a city located in Honshu, Japan’s largest island. It is the largest city within the Chugoku region, and it is also designated as the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture. The city has an extensive population that is 1,196,274 per estimates in 2016. This city has a fascinating history and is most known for being the first city to be targeted by the US Army Air Forces with a nuclear weapon during World War II.
City Size and Population Density
This large population is spread across a total surface area of just over 906.53 square kilometers (350 square miles). This brings the population density to approximately 1,319.6 individuals residing per square kilometer (3,418 persons per square mile).
In terms of religion among the population of Hiroshima, we must rely on national statistics for insight. Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions.
Hiroshima was first established in 1589. It was named as the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture following the abolition of the han in 1871. During this time, the city was a significant urban center. The 1800s saw a great period of growth with the establishment of English language schools and the extension of the San’yo Railway. During the First Sino-Japanese War, Hiroshima served as a base for the Japanese government and Emperor Meiji took up residence at Hiroshima capital.
Industrialization continued throughout the early 1900s, and the city became a center for military activity. However, a dark period was right around the corner for the city. On <a href=” http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki”>August 6, 1945, during World War II, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and killed approximately 140,000 people. This was the first time the US military used a nuclear weapon. In addition to the immediate deaths, injuries from the bomb and radiation killed additional residents, with estimates showing that as many as 166,000 people died in total in Hiroshima alone. The population, of course, suffered significantly, while much of the city’s infrastructure was also destroyed, with as many as 70% of buildings destroyed and others severely damaged.
The city has had a history of ups and downs when it comes to its population. Its population was approximately 143,000 in 1910 and grew to over 360,000 before World War II. The population during this period peaked to over 419,000 people in 1942. Just three years later, however, after the atomic bomb was dropped, the population had dropped quite significantly to a number that fell below what was recorded before 1910. However, the population bounced back within 10 years and had reached the levels recorded before the bombing.
This wasn’t the end of the troubles for Hiroshima, unfortunately. Typhoon Ida struck the city, adding 3,000 deaths and injuries to the city’s woes. More infrastructure was destroyed, including the roads and railroads.
After the war, Hiroshima received aid from the government to restore and rebuild the city. Donated land and financial assistance was provided to repair the city and recover from the destructive events. As the city rebuilt, several monuments were erected to promote peace, including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Peace Pagoda. Today, Hiroshima continues to speak out in favor of abolishing nuclear weapons, with goals to get rid of them completed by 2020.
Hiroshima Population Growth
The population of Hiroshima stands at 1,196,274, which reflects an increase from previous numbers. In 2000, the population was 1.126 million and before that in 1995, the population was 1.108 million. This reflects steady growth throughout the years. Despite the troubles that it faced during the war, the population has bounced back and continues to grow, a trend that is expected to continue through the decades.