Okinawa population grows at highest rate in nation
The Japanese Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has announced the preliminary figures of the latest Population Census as of October 1st, 2015.
According to the data, the total population of Okinawa Prefecture, including foreign residents but not the U.S. Military and SOFA status residents, was 1,434,138 people, an increase of 3.0 % or 41,320 from the previous year.
The growth rate in Okinawa is the highest in the nation, which is the first time for the island prefecture to be the top of Japan. There are only eight municipalities where the population grew. Okinawa’s highest birth rate in the country is one of the reasons for the growth, while the total population in the country declined for the first time ever. The other is immigration from other prefectures.
However, Okinawa has experienced a downturn in population growth rate since 1980, and the falling population is expected to be a concern in the future.
Yonabaru Town had the highest rate of population increase of 12.9 %, followed by 11.2 % on Yonaguni Island and 10.0 % in Nakagusuku Village. The reason of the high increase in Yonabaru is the development of the Marine Town area. On Yonaguni, the construction related to the deployment of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force on the island boosts the figures.
In Nakagusuku Village, the Minami-Ueberu area is under considerable development.