Fukuoka Moves Up to 6th Biggest in Japan!

Posted on January 22, 2012 | evankirby

This month (January 2012), Fukuoka moved up one place in the rankings of Japan's biggest cities, from 7th to 6th place! We knocked Kyoto down one spot. It is thought that part of the reason was a large influx of new people moving south after the disaster last year.
The list in Japanese is here. (The English page isn't quite so up to date, so at the time of writing doesn't show the January figures yet.)
Fukuoka was one of the fastest-growing cities in Japan even before the disaster, and by far the fastest-growing large city. In Japan, a growth of 1.2% in the last five years is quite surprising, given the declining population! Fukuoka is comparatively a young city, with a good number of universities, and a lively culture. That's part of what makes it a great place to attend a Japanese school!

(Note that the table shows two sets of figures: 法定人口 (houtei jinkou, legally designated population) and 推計人口 (suikei jinkou, estimated population). Official figures are always slower to show actual changes in population, and estimated population figures generally give a more accurate count of the actual number of people, because legal residence in Japan depends on where a person is registered. People often don't register straight away, and new registrations take a while to filter through to population estimates. The list is sorted by designated population first, with Fukuoka at 7th, but rest assured, we're still number 6 for estimated population!)

Here is the current top ten list by estimated population:
1. Yokohama, 3.7 million
2. Osaka, 2.7 million
3. Nagoya, 2.3 million
4. Sapporo, 1.9 million
5. Kobe, 1.54 million
6. Fukuoka, 1.48 million
7. Kyoto, 1.47 million
8. Kawasaki, 1.43 million
9. Saitama, 1.23 million
10. Hiroshima, 1.18 million

(Tokyo is excluded as it's not counted as a city, but rather a "special region".)
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