Urbanization in Japan 2018

In the past decade, Japan’s degree of urbanization has leveled off at around 91 percent. This means that less than 10 percent of Japan’s population of 126 million inhabitants do not live in an urban setting. Japan is well above the degree of urbanization worldwide, which is 55 percent. Japan is also known for its high population density: In 2017, it amounted to an eye-watering 347.78 inhabitants per square kilometer - however, it is not even among the top twenty countries with the highest population density worldwide. That ranking is lead by Monaco, followed by China, and Singapore.

Japan’s aging population

The main demographic challenge that Japan currently faces is an aging population, as the number of inhabitants over 65 years old is an increasing percentage of the population. As of 2018, Japan is the country with the largest percentage of total population over 65 years, and life expectancy at birth there is about 84 years. Simultaneously, the birth rate in Japan is declining, resulting in negative population growth in recent years. One method Japan is using to address these demographic shifts is by investing in automated work processes; it's one of the top countries interested in collaborative robots.

Japan: Degree of urbanization from 2008 to 2018

Share of urban population
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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Japan"

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