Foreign Resident Population

2015-03-08

Here is some foreign resident population data on Japan. The graphs were produced using a Python script. Thanks to Ben Sturmfels for recommending the use of Matplotlib.

Population.1.svg Population.2.svg

YearForeign ResidentsGeneral PopulationPercent Foreigners
1978766,894114,913,0000.67%
1979774,505115,890,0000.67%
1980782,910117,060,3960.67%
1981792,946117,661,0000.67%
1982802,477118,480,0000.68%
1983817,129119,307,0000.68%
1984840,885120,083,0000.70%
1985850,612121,048,9230.70%
1986867,237121,482,0000.71%
1987884,025122,069,0000.72%
1988941,005122,578,0000.77%
1989984,455123,069,0000.80%
19901,075,317123,611,1670.87%
19911,218,891123,964,0000.98%
19921,281,644124,425,0001.03%
19931,320,748124,829,0001.06%
19941,354,011125,178,0001.08%
19951,362,371125,570,2461.08%
19961,415,136125,757,0001.13%
19971,482,707126,057,0001.18%
19981,512,116126,400,0001.20%
19991,556,113126,631,0001.23%
20001,686,444126,843,0001.33%
20011,778,462127,149,0001.40%
20021,851,758127,445,0001.45%
20031,915,030127,718,0001.50%
20041,973,747126,250,0001.56%
20051,906,689127,767,9941.49%
20062,084,919127,854,0001.63%
20072,152,973128,001,0001.68%
20082,217,426128,063,0001.73%
20092,186,121128,047,0001.71%
20102,134,151128,057,3521.67%
20112,078,508127,817,0001.63%
20122,033,656127,561,0001.59%
20132,066,445127,350,0001.62%
20142,086,603127,100,0001.64%
20152,232,189127,094,7451.76%
YearForeign ResidentsGeneral PopulationPercent Foreigners

What Is Counted

According to Wikipedia, "Foreign Army personnel, of which there have been up 430,000 from the US and 40,000 BCOF in the immediate post-war years, are not included in the Japanese statistics of foreigners, nor is such personnel subject to local immigration controls." This makes sense, because the Ministry of Justice does not have registration data on foreign military service members — there is no system or need for such people to register with the Japanese government. "Residents" are those who have a residence visa. By contrast, tourists have a "tourist" visa, and are thus not counted in this data. Non-citizens residing in Japan illegally are likewise not be included in this data, because they are not registered with the Ministry of Justice.

Sources

1978-2004
Ministry of Justice. 「国籍(出身地)別外国人登録者数の推移」
2005-2013
Ministry of Justice. 「国籍・地域別在留外国人数の推移」
2006-2015
Ministry of Justice. 「在留外国人統計(旧登録外国人統計)統計表】 在留外国人統計 【お知らせ】 国籍・地域別の在留外国人数については,国籍・地域を「無国籍」と集計しているものについて,その正確性に疑義があることから,現在,当該外国人の記録等を精査しているところですので留意願います(平成26年6月20日)。」

Population.3.svg

Total Population Data

It is easy to get data on the population of Japan as a whole because the United Nations gathers and formats the data for us. The numbers here are taken from UN Data, a handy website that lets one search for population by country and year, among other things. The same data is also found in the United Nations' Demographic Yearbook.

The numbers I use here count people living in Japan regardless of citizenship. Foreign military personnel stationed in Japan are not counted. The numbers originate with the Japanese government — in particular, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications conducts a national census every five years, and they try to back calculate population data based on the results. For example, following the 2010 census, population figures for 2006-2009 were slightly revised.

Foreign Resident Population By Country

Most non-Japanese people living in Japan are from Asian countries. Here are two graphs displaying that information. The data used here was taken from Wikipedia: Demographics of Japan. The graphs were generated using two Python scripts (bar and pie).

Nationality.Bar.svg

Country2015
China665,847
Korea457,772
Philippines229,595
Brazil173,437
Vietnam146,956
Nepal54,775
U.S.A.52,271
Taiwan48,723
Peru47,721
Thailand45,379
Other309,713
Total2,232,189

Nationality.Pie.svg