Japan’s population stood at 127,094,745 as of Oct. 1, 2015, the final results of the census showed Wednesday, down 0.8 percent from the previous census five years earlier and marking the first decline since the survey began in 1920.
Of the total population, including non-Japanese residents, those aged 65 or older accounted for a record-high 26.6 percent, while those below 15 fell to a record-low 12.6 percent, the internal affairs ministry said.
The government data showed that the number of those 65 or older rose 3.6 percentage points from the previous census in 2010 to 33,465,441. In contrast, those 14 or younger fell by 0.6 points to 15,886,810.
Comparing the new census figures against U.N. estimates, Japan remains the 10th most populous nation. However, among the top 20 countries, it was the only country whose population declined between 2010 and 2015.
The latest results by the census, conducted once every five years, also showed that the population is concentrated in Tokyo and its vicinity.
Of Japan’s 47 prefectures, the Japanese capital and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, accounted for 28.4 percent of the total population.
Population rose only in eight prefectures — these four prefectures as well as Aichi, Shiga, Fukuoka and Okinawa.
The population of Japanese nationals totaled 124,283,901, while the number of non-Japanese residents in the country totaled 1,752,368, the government data showed.
By nationality, Chinese nationals accounted for the largest number at 511,118, followed by Koreans at 376,954.
Of all the country’s 1,719 municipalities, the population in 1,419 decreased, according to the census.
The male population came to 61,841,738, while the female population stood at 65,253,007.
Tokyo had the lowest number of people in a household at 1.99, falling below 2 for the first time since the government began compiling such data since 1970, data showed. The national average of members per household is 2.33.
The preliminary figures for the census, released in February, showed the country’s population fell by 947,305 from 128,057,352 in 2010.