Spatial Patterns of Population Change in Central Tokyo Since the Period of the Bubble Economy

  • Yoshiki Wakabayashi
  • Ryo Koizumi
Part of the International Perspectives in Geography book series (IPG, volume 8)


This study examines the change in the spatial patterns of demographic structure in central Tokyo since the period of the bubble economy in the late 1980s. To this end, we analyze grid square data suitable for time-series analysis between 1985 and 2005, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). After selecting major indicators representing three dimensions of the social area analysis – family status, socio-economic status, and ethnic status – we map each indicator and make quantitative comparisons between zones of distance and direction from Tokyo’s city center. Focusing on the spatial pattern of population change in the 23 wards between 1985 and 2005, analysis reveals that central Tokyo experienced a population recovery from the latter half of the 1990s, having previously faced a continuing population decline until 1995. On the basis of this population change trend, we examine the spatial pattern of each indicator in the social atlas. Concerning age and household composition, their spatial distribution has gradually shifted from a zonal pattern to a sectoral one, due to the migration of younger nuclear families to the area surrounding the city center. The spatial distribution of socio-economic status, represented by the occupational structure, maintained a sectoral pattern characterized by the contrast between the eastern and western parts of Tokyo, although this distinction has blurred. In particular, the number of managers and officials in the 23 wards has decreased and its distribution shifted to a zonal pattern, indicating the polarization of white-collar workers. The distribution of foreigners shows a zonal pattern, in which the highest value appeared in the area surrounding the city center. However, spatial autocorrelation analysis of the distribution of four major nationalities reveals a clustered pattern, supporting the findings of previous studies in Western countries.


Social atlas Social area analysis GIS Grid square statistics Tokyo 


  1. Anselin L (1995) Local indicators of spatial association – LISA. Geogr Anal 27:93–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asakawa T (2006) Structural transformation of Tokyo metropolitan area: direction and logic of the change. Ann Jpn Assoc Urban Sociol 24:57–71. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  3. Brewer CA, PickleI L (2002) Evaluation of methods for classifying epidemiological data on choropleth maps in series. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 92:662–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Castells M (1989) The informational city: information technology, economic restructuring, and the urban-regional process. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Chiba T (2001) Population of foreigners in Tokyo metropolitan area. In: Tomita K, Fuijii T (eds) Illustration of metropolitan region (Zusetsu Daitoshiken). Kokon Shoin (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  6. Davies WKD (1984) Factorial Ecology. Gower, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  7. Esaki Y (2006) The future of population of the Tokyo metropolitan area: population geography of city center and suburbs. Senshu Daigaku Shuppankyoku, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  8. Fukumoto T (2010) Changes in spatial segregation of foreigners in Tokyo and Osaka: differences between “oldtimers” and “newcomers”. Geogr Rev Jpn 83:288–313. (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harris R, Sleight P, Webber R (2005) Geodemographics, GIS and neighborhood targeting. Wiley, West SussexGoogle Scholar
  10. Hashimoto K (2011) Class-divided city (Kaikyu Toshi). Chikuma Shobo (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  11. Hirayama Y (2006) The end of Tokyo (Tokyo No Hateni). NTT Shuppan (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  12. Kaizuka S (1979) Natural history of Tokyo, 2nd rev. edn. (Tokyo No Shizenshi, Zoho Dai 2 Han). Kinokuniya Shoten (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  13. Kirimura T (2006) An application of self-organizing maps to the research of residential structure: does the dimension of ethnic status exist in Kyoto in 1970? Ritsumeikan Chirigaku 18:55–67. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  14. Knox P, Pinch S (2010) Urban social geography: an introduction. Pearson Prentice Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Koike S (2010) On the spatio-temporal population change in Tokyo metropolitan area: a population dynamics analysis utilizing the area mesh data. J Popul Probl 66(2):26–47. (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  16. Koizumi R, Wakabayashi Y (2015) Changes in the spatial patterns of occupational structure in the Tokyo metropolitan area after the bubble economy. In: Singh RB (ed) Urban development challenges, risks and resilience in Asian mega cities. Springer, Tokyo, pp 251–366Google Scholar
  17. Kojima K, Negami A, Uozaki K, Yoshida M (2004) A study on the effect and method of use of housing linkage system in Chiyoda city, Tokyo. J Architecture Plann 578:93–98. (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kubo T, Yui Y (2011) Diversification of the condominium supply in central Tokyo: supply strategies of “compact” condominiums. Geogr Rev Jpn 84:460–472. (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kurasawa S (ed) (1986) Social atlas of Tokyo. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  20. Kurasawa S, Asakawa T (eds) (2004) New social atlas of metropolitan Tokyo: 1975–90. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  21. Machimura T (1994) The structural change of a global city: urban restructuring in Tokyo. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  22. Machimura T (2009) Multiscalar structure of inequality in contemporary Japan. Hitotsubashi Bull Soc Sci 6:103–121. (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  23. Miyazawa H, Abe T (2005) Recovery and changes in the socioeconomic composition of population in the central area of Tokyo during the period from 1995 to 2000: analysis of small-area census data. Geogr Rev Jpn 78:893–912. (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nakazawa T (2011) Residential histories of second-generation baby boomers and structural changes of Tokyo metropolitan area. Chiri 56(5):82–91. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  25. Narita K (2005) Revitalizing matured city. Minerva Shobo, Kyoto. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  26. Sassen S (2001) The global city: New York, London, Tokyo, 2nd edn. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shevky E, Bell W (1955) Social area analysis. Stanford University Press, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  28. Shimizu M, Nakagawa S (2002) Increase of foreigners and urban change due to internationalization. In: Kobayashi K (ed) Regional issues in 21st century. Ninomiya Shoten, pp 61–90 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  29. Sonobe M (1985) Structures of neighborhood segregation and its spatial pattern of Tokyo: social area analysis in 1970. J Soc Sci Humanit Sociol 177:1–29. (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  30. Sonobe M (2001) Contemporary metropolitan society: dual city? Toshindo Publishing Co.Ltd, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  31. Tachibanaki T (1998) Economic disparity in Japan: from the viewpoint of income and property. Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  32. Tachibanaki T, Mori T (2009) A study of Japanese wealthy people, new edition (Shin Nihon No Okanemochi Kenkyu). Nohon Keizai Shimbunsha (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  33. Takano T (1979) The factorial ecology of Tokyo special district. Ann Tohoku Geogr Assoc 31:250–259. (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  34. Takeuchi A (1983) Technical groups and industrial society (Gijutsu Shudan To Sangyo-chiikishakai) Taimeido (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  35. Tanaka K (2010) The analysis of aging in Tokyo 23 wards in micro-scale using GIS: based on the fifth-order grid square system census. Tokei 61(4):23–30. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  36. Tomita K (2004) Recent changes of population in the central district of major cities in Japan. J Lit Assoc Osaka City Uni 55(3):113–140. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  37. Toyoda T (1999) The changing spatial structure of a world city, Tokyo, an aspect of social polarization. J Hum Sci Arts Fac Integr Arts Sci, Uni Tokushima 6:123–139Google Scholar
  38. Toyoda T (2011) Spatial structure of income inequality in metropolitan city: a comparative analysis of Tokyo and Osaka. J Jpn Soc Urban 44:219–226. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  39. Tsubomoto H, Uozumi A, Wakabayashi Y (2012) Recent development of condominiums and demographic change in the Nihonbashi District of Chuo Ward, Tokyo. Geogr Rep Tokyo Metro Uni 47:69–78Google Scholar
  40. Ueno K (1996) The residential structure of Tokyo in the post-World War II period of Showa (1970). Stud Hum Geogr 20:241–254. (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  41. Wakabayashi Y, Koizumi R (2014) Spatial patterns of population change in the 23 special wards of Tokyo after the period of the bubble economy. J Geogr (Chigaku Zasshi) 123:249–268. (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wakabayashi Y, Kamiya H, Kinoshita R, Yui Y, Yano K (eds) (2002) Urban space of single women. Taimeido, Kobe. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  43. Watanabe Y (1978) Intra-urban migration of residents within the metropolitan region. Compr Urban Stud 4:11–35. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  44. Yabe N (2008) Global money flow into the asset backed securities market and real estate development in Tokyo. Ann J Assoc Econ Geograp 54(4):292–309Google Scholar
  45. Yamada M (2004) The society of gap-widening in hope. Chikuma Shobo, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  46. Yamada H (2008) Relationship between condominium locations and land price fluctuations in the central city of Tokyo metropolitan area. J Hist Geogr Cult Anthropol Yamagata Uni 9:1–12. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  47. Yamashita K (2011) Increase and changing distribution of Chinese living in Tokyo. In: Yamashita K (ed) Exploring contemporary ethnic society (Gendai No Esunikku Shakai Wo Saguru). Gakubunsha, Tokyo. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  48. Yano K, Kato F (1988) Canonical trend surface analysis of residential structure in the Tokyo city area. Jpn J Hum Geogr 40:20–39. (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Urban Environmental SciencesTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiojiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Human ScienceKanagawa UniversityYokohamaJapan

Personalised recommendations