The result was lengthy commutes for many workers in the big cities, especially in Tokyo area where daily commutes of two hours each way are common.In 1991, as the bubble economy started to collapse, land prices began a steep decline, and within a few years fell 60% below their peak.Over the period of 2010–2015, the population shrank by almost a million.Japan collects census information every five years.More than 50% of the population lives on 2% of the land.(July 1993) (2010 est.) To measure ethnicity, the Japanese census asks respondents their nationality, rather than asking them to identify by ethnic group as other countries do.
Between 6 million and 7 million people moved their residences each year during the 1980s.
Regional cities offered familiarity to those from nearby areas, lower costs of living, shorter commutes, and, in general, a more relaxed lifestyle than could be had in larger cities.
Young people continued to move to large cities, however, to attend universities and find work, but some returned to regional cities (a pattern known as U-turn) or to their prefecture of origin (a pattern referred to as "J-turn").
The exercise is conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Japan's population density was 336 people per square kilometer (874 people per square mile) according to the UN World Populations Prospects as of July 2005.