The net population inflow to Tokyo slowed further in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the smallest since 2014 when the current survey format was introduced, government data showed on Friday.
People who moved to the Japanese capital outnumbered those who left by 5,433 last year, down 25,692 from the previous year, with the slowdown apparently reflecting the spread of remote work due to the pandemic. A record net influx had also been seen in 2020.
According to internal migration statistics released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of people who moved to Tokyo in 2021 amounted to 420,167, 12,763 less than the previous year, while the number of people who left the capital amounted to 414,734, 12,929 more.
People who moved to Tokyo outnumbered those who moved by between 70,000 and 80,000 every year between 2014 and 2019, before the spread of COVID-19, according to the data.
Meanwhile, net inflows to the broader metropolitan area, which also includes Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, fell to 81,699 in 2021, down 17,544 from the previous year, also the lowest since 2014.
The Japanese government aims to balance the inflow and outflow of the population in the Tokyo area by fiscal year 2024.