The Disparity in High School Enrollment between Native and Immigrant Children in Japan

Author Name HAGIWARA Risa (Meikai university) / LIU Yang (Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2020 20-E-016
Research Project Empirical Studies on Employment, Migration, and Family Issues of Foreigners in Japan
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This study examines the assimilation of immigrant children in Japan in terms of high school enrollment using the 2010 Population Census from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). Immigrant children are defined as children who have at least one foreign-born parent in this study. We examine the gap between native and immigrant children with similar characteristics using nonlinear decomposition. We find that the average school attendance probability of immigrant children is significantly lower than that of native children. Immigrant children with one parent who is a foreigner show a large difference. Factors that enlarge the gap are shorter length of stay in Japan, parents' lack of use of Chinese characters in their country of birth, parents' lower level of regular employment status, and lack of home ownership. The most important factor above in explaining the gap is parental background in terms of use of Chinese characters. The total explained part of all observable factors is about 90% in the comparison between native and immigrant children whose parents are both foreigners. Furthermore, immigrant children who have not attended high school are more likely to be unemployed.