The Geographic Distribution of the Foreign-born and Japanese Populations (2005-2022)

Author Name HASHIMOTO Yuki (Fellow (Policy Economist), RIETI) / ITO Hiroki (Yokohama National University) / CHIKAMOTO Kairu (Hitotsubashi University)
Creation Date/NO. August 2023 23-P-015
Research Project Empirical studies on issues of foreign employment and technology progress in a society with a persistent labor shortage
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This study compares the geographic distribution of non-Japanese and Japanese populations using regional data from the Population Census, the Basic Resident Registers, and the Statistics on the foreigners registered in Japan. For the Japanese, divergent growth patterns were observed, with the Japanese population decreasing in smaller municipalities. Conversely, convergent growth patterns were observed for non-Japanese, in which the number of non-Japanese increased in municipalities with smaller non-Japanese populations. Such municipalities with originally small foreign residents had a high ratio of blue-collar foreign workers, workers in the manufacturing and construction industries, and newcomers to Japan. The non-Japanese satisfying all of these factors are technical intern trainees. Their increases were likely to support the decreasing Japanese population and labor force of small municipalities in rural areas.