Migration into Tokyo’s 23 wards up 4 percent

Existing Tokyo residents moving closer into the city core, offsetting the outflow of children and the elderly

Migration into the core of central Tokyo is underway even amongst existing metropolitan residents, the results of a recent a Japanese government report on 2014 demographic shifts have announced.

The report, compiled by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC), is based on official home registry with local government offices.  Japanese nationals moving into Tokyo’s 23 wards showed a net rise of 63,976, a 4% year-on-year increase.

The percentage was significantly higher in central wards such as Chiyoda (27%) and Chuo (42%). More than half of the new inhabitants of Chiyoda were from other wards of Tokyo. The surge of Japanese nationals moving to Tokyo as a whole numbered 73,280, up 4% from 2013. This surge has now continued for 18 consecutive years.

However, children between 0 and 14 years old, as well as elderly residents aged 65 and older, are moving out of Tokyo more so than moving in, indicating that Tokyo is continuing to absorb from other areas of Japan the productive-age populace between 15 and 64 years old.

Except for the bubble years of soaring land values, the general trend has been that the improving economy has contributed to job growth inside the Tokyo metropolitan area, resulting in a population influx. In 2014, the inflow into Tokyo was 404,736, down 1% for the first time in 3 years. However, the outflow decreased more, pushing up the difference between of the population moving in versus moving out.

The number of people who moved into the 23 wards from outside of Tokyo was 307,463, and from within Tokyo, 279,083. Ward-by-ward breakdown shows as much as 54% of those who moved into Chiyoda came from other wards of Tokyo.

This trend is similar in other central wards including Chuo (50%) and Minato (51%), both of which perform higher than the 23 ward average (40%), showing not just a population influx to Tokyo from the rest of the country, but exactly where in the central areas people are choosing to make their home.

The general picture that emerges is that city residents are increasingly desiring to close the distance between where they live and where they work – a desire that is being met by developers who are increasingly inclined to build large-scale properties inside the inner-city area. With a number of development projects with the city core on the table, the population increase seams set to continue into the future.

Development fervour also continue to mount as the 2020 Olympic Games creep closer.


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