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Frequently Asked Questions

How many people died as a result of the atomic bombings?
Deaths caused by the atomic bombings include those that occurred on the days of the bombings due to the overwhelming force and heat of the blasts as well as later deaths attributable to radiation exposure. The total number of deaths is not known precisely because military personnel records in each city were destroyed; entire families perished, leaving no one to report deaths; and unknown numbers of forced laborers were present in both cities. Recent estimates of total deaths occurring within two to four months after the bombings are shown in the Table.
Table. 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
340,000-350,000 persons
90,000−166,000 persons
250,000-270,000 persons
60,000−80,000 persons
  The 1950 Japanese national census, carried out five years after the bombings, provided a rough estimate of the number of persons who were exposed and survived the bombings. 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 so-called "early entrants," who entered the cities after the bombings, are not included.