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Link: Why half of Japan's cities are at risk of disappearing in 100 years

The signs of a graying, shrinking population can be observed most starkly in the countryside. In Nanmoku, for example, a village nestled in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, 67.5% of its diminishing number of residents are 65 or older, the highest ratio among all municipalities in Japan. Meanwhile, abandoned hamlets dot the hilly forests of Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture — bittersweet remnants of rural flight and depopulation, and a phenomenon so widespread that exploring them has become a subculture of its own. The number of vacant homes, in fact, has grown to an estimated 9 million as of October last year, according to an internal affairs ministry survey, doubling from 4.48 million in 1993. And by 2050, 744 of Japan’s 1,729 municipalities might vanish due to a sharp population decline, according to a report released by the Population Strategy Council in late April. #


Yoooo, this is a quick note on a link that made me go, WTF? Find all past links here.