- Niseko Real Estate
- Niseko Population Statistics (2022), Hokkaido
2022 Niseko Population Statistics, Hokkaido
As part of our series of reports on Niseko, Hokkaido, we bring you some relevant Niseko population statistics. Below we’ll provide trends about the population of Niseko (and Kutchan town), and also show the relative size of Niseko, with local comparisons to the population of Sapporo or the population of Otaru. We also provide some light data on foreigners in Niseko (yes, Australians, and more).
Niseko City Population?
As we describe in post on The Niseko Story (about Niseko’s peak season, real estate, and more), we try to explain that what we people call Niseko is actually combination of three small cities, and the greater area near the local resorts. For the purposes of these statistics, the numbers referenced are attributed to the town of Kutchan, which is center of the local Niseko population.
Source: Tourist Bureau for Kutchan
Niseko Population vs Other Hokkaido Cities
For a relatively comparison for data, we can compare the population of Niseko to some other local cities.
The population of Sapporo is 2,666,000. Compared to 10 years ago, Sapporo’s population has increased about 2%. Sapporo’s population is about 180 times bigger than Niseko (saying that another way, Niseko has about 0.5% the population of Sapporo). The population of Otaru is 108,525. Compared to 10 years ago, Otaru’s population has decreased ~15%. Otaru’s population is about 7.5 times larger than Niseko’s population.
The size of Niseko is relevant, particularly for those that want to live in Niseko for longer than a short stay. Niseko’s seasonality and relative lack of infrastructure make finding work or housing more challenging that other, more robust Hokkaido cities. For more details, see our profile on Niseko.
Non-Japanese and Foreigners in Niseko
We provide more specific statistics in our separate report on the population of foreigners living in Niseko, but for a quick review:
The majority of people living in Niseko are, of course, the Japanese. Based on a small survey conducted by the local tourism bureau, the biggest foreign population in Niseko is made up of the Australians (33% of foreigners). The relationship of the Australians to Niseko is well established, and Aussie influence and investment has a lot to do with Niseko’s international fame. After the Australians, the English are the second biggest population (13%), followed by the Taiwanese and the New Zealanders (both at 5%). The Chinese and Canadians are next (both at 4%).
Asian visitors and investors in Niseko, including people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while a small percentage of the population, have brought a lot of foreign money to the region in recent years. Japanese and international businesses run by the Australians and others have helped Asian visitors and buyers to buy property in Niseko and make other investments.
Niseko Population Trends
As you look at that data, you can see that for the most recent population data from the Niseko area, the population is declining. What should we make of that?
It is a trend across Japan (and around that world), that the population is moving from rural areas and smaller cities toward major cities. That trend is also true in Hokkaido, where the population of Sapporo is growing, while most other cities and towns are losing population. What does that mean for Niseko?
While the global trends are worth some attention, Niseko has many unique characteristics that might make the recent downward trend misleading. Niseko has a lot of regional attention, and there is a local (and somewhat international effort) to make Niseko a premier destination. One significant sign of that, is that Japan’s shinkansen system is being extended deeper into Hokkaido (it currently ends at Hakodate), and will soon connect Niseko to Sapporo, which could bring a lot more visitors, and by extension, justify a lot more of a year-round presence for business and the local community.
It could also be that the pandemic of 2020 had a short-term effect on Niseko that will correct time goes on. There were real travel restrictions in Japan in 2020, both domestically and certainly from other countries. If Niseko relies on tourism (and it does), that could have contributed to financial troubles and instability for Niseko businesses, and for the people that might have been employed by both those businesses. If there were no customers, and no work, local people would have to move to other places to try to make a living. Time will tell if that trend reverses.
Niseko Real Estate
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While there are more jobs and services in nearby Sapporo, we get many requests from clients for help with renting an Niseko apartment or houses for sale in Niseko. For help with real estate, contact us and we can make personalized introductions to real estate agents in Niseko that speak English and other languages.
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For More Information:
— International Schools in Sapporo
— Find Lawyers in Hokkaido
— Our Taxes in Japan page
— Buying Property in Hokkaido as a Foreigner