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Frequently Asked Questions

How many persons perished in or survived the atomic bombings?
Deaths caused by the atomic bombings include those that occurred on the days of the bombings resulting from the collapse of houses caused by the blast and from burns due to heat rays and fires as well as deaths that occurred later from burns and radiation exposure. However, the total number of deaths is not precisely known because records of military personnel in each city were destroyed; entire families perished, leaving no one to report the deaths; and forced laborers were present in unknown numbers. Recent estimates of total deaths occurring within two to four months after the bombings are shown in the Table 1.
Table 1. Estimated population size and number of acute (within two to four months) deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombings
Estimated city population
at the time of the bombings

Estimated number of
acute deaths
310,000 persons
90,000−140,000 persons
250,000 persons
60,000−80,000 persons
  Five years after the atomic bombings, in the 1950 Japanese national census, approximately 280,000 persons indicated that they "had been exposed" in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. (Although most of them were probably exposed in the former administrative districts of the cities, the census did not require recording the place of exposure.) The census total is a rough estimate of the number of people who were exposed and survived the bombings.