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Tuesday
Feb262013

Fukuoka Boomtown

Fukuoka City Hall, completed in 1923, was unfortunately torn down about two decades ago.

   I stumbled across some interesting growth projections for the city of Fukuoka the other day. The first graph shows actual growth from 1975 to 2005.

   Of the eight cities studied, Fukuoka (福岡、■) has grown the most (over 150%) during those thirty years, followed by Sapporo (札幌, ▲, 145%+), Sendai (仙台, ▲,140%), and Tôkyô (東京, ■, 130%). Much of the growth here, I suspect, is coming from depopulation of areas outside of Fukuoka. Evidence of this can be seen in the steady decline of Kitakyûshû's population (北九州, ●) since the mid 80s. Similar declines have occured in cities throughout the area. I visited the former coal mining town of Ômuta a few weeks ago and learned that in its heyday the city had over 200,000 people. Today, the population is half that figure.

   The next graph shows growth projections for a number of cities in Japan over the next twenty-two years. Using 2005 as the starting point, Ôsaka City (大阪) is expected to to see it's population drop to just over 85% of its 2005 population by the year 2035. The only cities predicted to maintain their 2005 population levels over the next two decades are Fukoka (福岡市) and Tôkyô (東京). The greater metropolitan area of Fukuoka City (福岡都市) is also expected to maintain its 2005 population level.

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