In 1920 about 18 per cent of the total population of Japan lived in the 81 cities which existed then. By 1950 the percentage had increased markedly but still amounted to only 37.5 per cent while the number of cities had grown to 248. On April 1, 1954 not less than 383 entities had the legal denomination of a city. In 1950 of Japan's 46 prefectures there were five in which the population living in cities outnumbered the populations of towns and villages; in April 1953 their number had risen to seven.

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