Housing in Tokyo is notoriously small and cramped, and a report released last year by the Statistics Department of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government proves it.

According to the Living & Statistics 2020, the average home in the capital has a total floor area of ​​65.18 m² (701 sq.ft), making it the smallest of Japan’s 47 prefectures. This is even almost 30% smaller than the national average (92.06 m²).

This should come as no surprise with a population of 14 million in an area of ​​2,194 square kilometers. It is the most populous prefectural district in the country, while also having the highest population density. With about 6,300 inhabitants per km2, it is comparable in population density to San Francisco. However, in Tokyo’s 23 boroughs, the density is 15,381 people per km2, making it 50% higher than New York City as a whole. The Nakano ward density of 21,956/km2 is slightly closer to Manhattan (about 28,000/km2).

In 2020, home ownership in Tokyo was 45%, below the national average of 61.2%. Okinawa has the lowest ratio in Japan at 44.4%. Akita Prefecture has the highest ratio with 77.3% of households owning their homes.

In Tokyo’s 23 boroughs, only 58.4% of the 62,873 hectares of land is for construction purposes, with a further 22% being covered by roads and 6.5% being used for parks.

Source: Statistics Division, Bureau of General Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

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