Why is Tokyo defying population outflows among world's 'superstar' cities?
Japan Times -- Jan 31
Like a lot of big cities in the developed world, Amsterdam lost population in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s as its inhabitants opted for newer dwellings and more space outside the city.

During those same decades, newcomers arrived in large numbers from former and current Dutch territories as well as Turkey and Morocco. But there weren’t enough of them to make up for the domestic exodus, and their presence led some longtime Amsterdammers to decide the city was no longer for them.

After 1985 — again like a lot of big cities in the developed world — Amsterdam stopped shrinking. New arrivals from overseas were still coming, and more and more of them were having kids (one of whom, just to keep American readers engaged here, is the new shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies). Educated young people from elsewhere in the Netherlands began to stream in, too, attracted rather than repelled by the city’s increasingly diverse, cosmopolitan feel, and drawn in by a growing assortment of good jobs. Starting in 2005, the city began to experience sustained net inflows of domestic migrants for the first time since at least 1950.

In 2015, that domestic inflow reversed. By 2018, the net outflows were of a scale not seen since the early 1980s.

The inflow from abroad has actually spiked back up recently — albeit from very different places, with U.K. citizens now the biggest group of foreigners in the city and Italians leading the list of new arrivals in 2018. Together with a big birth-death differential (because of earlier migration patterns, and probably also the insanely steep stairs in older apartment buildings, there aren’t a lot of old people in Amsterdam), this has kept the city growing. Last November its population hit an estimated 873,200, finally surpassing the previous record of 872,428 set in 1959. But the accelerating exodus to elsewhere in the country seems significant, in part because similar things have been happening in Berlin, London, New York, Paris, Sydney and Toronto. The one exception I found in my admittedly less-than-exhaustive search of what are frequently called “superstar cities” was Tokyo, which is still experiencing big domestic inflows.

Berlin, London, Sydney and Toronto have, like Amsterdam, continued to grow despite domestic emigration. New York and Paris have resumed shrinking, though, and my sense is that some of the other superstars may follow in their wake before too long. The great rich-world revival of the big city seems to be fading, or at least entering a new phase.

News source: Japan Times
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