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Low Population Rate

Date Posted: 2000-08-11

The population of Japan was 126,071,305 at the end of March, up 211,299, or 0.17 percent, from a year earlier, the Home Affairs Ministry announced yesterday. It was the lowest growth both in terms of percentage and absolute numbers since the ministry's first demographic survey in 1968.

The previous low was in 1996, when the growth rate was 0.21 percent.

By region, the combined population in the major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and the Kansai region, centering on Osaka, increased 0.37 percent from the previous year to 61,910,845, or 49.11 percent of the entire population.

Among the three metropolitan areas, the population in and around Tokyo increased the most, at 0.5 percent, followed by the Nagoya area at 0.3 percent and the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area at 0.15 percent. Officials say that a drop in land prices is once again causing overcrowding in the capital.

The population increased in 23 prefectures, including Miyagi, Aichi and Hyogo, with Tokyo experiencing the biggest jump, at 62,699. Okinawa’s population increased 0.8 percent last year, the highest increase rate in the nation.

By contrast, the number of residents dropped in 24 prefectures The population in Okinawa increased by 11,030. Okinawa also has the largest average size of the family with 2.8 persons per family. The national average is 2.6.

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