With a population of over 35 million, the Tokyo metropolitan area is the largest urban area on the planet. This means that one in every four Japanese citizens resides in Tokyo; however, it is speculated that Tokyo’s population could be displaced in the future by other fast growing cities like Delhi or Jakarta. If this prediction bares any truth, then several other cities could surpass Tokyo in population by 2100.
A forecast by the Japan Times reports that the population of the Tokyo Prefecture could be halved between 2010 and 2100. The report also showed that while the overall population would reduce by about 50 percent, the population of elderly people would rise by around 20 percent. This will result in a very unfavorable ratio of elderly people to the working population thus presenting unprecedented economic and social challenges.
In the 2005 to 2010 census period, the four prefectures that form the Tokyo metropolitan area gained about 1.1 million new residents. According to an article in the Japan Times, the country’s total population is forecast to decline by 16.2 percent to 107,276,000 between the years 2010 and 2014. The UN also forecasts that the population will drop to 90 million by 2100. Lastly, The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research predicts a 60 percent population decline by the year 2100.
Composition by Age
The October 2010 National Census showed that Tokyo’s population was at 13,159,000. Represented in three different age groups; the child population, ages 0-14, was at 1,477,000 (11.4%), the working age population, ages 15-64, was at 8,850,000 (68.2%) and the aged population, ages 65 and over, was at 2,642,000 (20.4%). The percentage of aged individuals was above the United Nations 14% standard mark for “aged societies” and is now closer to the 21% mark for “Super-aged societies.”