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2023 Sapporo Population Statistics

In support of our research on real estate in Sapporo, we provide some reporting and Sapporo population statistics. Below we’ll provide additional details on Sapporo population trends, some comparisons to other major cities, and more. We’ll also provide some details about the population of foreigners living in Sapporo.

Sapporo City Population

Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido, and the fifth largest city in Japan. Recent data indicates Sapporo’s population to be 1,969,004. For a comparisons with other cities of a similar size, Houston (2,302,878) in the United States, Kuala Lumpur (1,982,112) in Malaysia, or Paris (2,102,650) France are have populations of roughly the same size as Sapporo.

YearTotal Sapporo Population
Source: City of Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo Population vs Other Hokkaido Cities

Sapporo is located on Hokkaido, the most northern island in Japan. Hokkaido has many cities, but Sapporo is the largest, most well-established city in Hokkaido. In terms of local cities, at just 14,580 residents the population of Niseko much smaller than Sapporo (even though Niseko is “the most famous small city in Japan“). Otaru is another nearby city, and recent data shows the Otaru population to be at 108,525 residents.

Population of Sapporo Wards

Sapporo is a large city, and has various neighborhoods or Sapporo Wards, each with their own population trends. While Chuo ku is the most central ward in Sapporo, and has the most expensive real estate, Chuo ku has the third largest population, behind Kita ku and Higashi ku (respectively).

See our additional reporting for more detail on population trends for Sapporo wards.

Non-Japanese and Foreigners in Sapporo

We provide details on the number of foreigners living in Sapporo in a separate report, but we can provide a brief overview here.

As of 2023, there were approximately 15,960 foreigners living in Sapporo, which is less than 1% of the total population. Over the last 10 years, residents of Sapporo from foreign countries has been generally increasing; the current population of foreign residents in Sapporo is up from just 9,000 residents in 2013. There was a decrease in the total number of people from other countries living in Sapporo during the Covid period, but post-pandemic, Sapporo has the highest number of foreign residents ever recorded.

The main non-native populations living in Sapporo are from China, Korean, Vietnam, and America. Other countries in top 10 include Taiwan and Russia.

Sapporo Population Trends

It is part of Japan’s current history that the population is declining. Sapporo has generally resisted that trend, with increasing population to the city center, even has much many other places in Japan have fewer citizens. Sapporo had increasing population up to 2021, culminating in a peak of 1,972,542 residents, and then a declined toward the current population ever since. That decline may have been influenced by the Covid pandemic, and we may see that reverse as life returns to normal.

And while the overall population of Sapporo has declined since 2021, the population of foreigners living in Sapporo has been increasing. See our separate reporting for more on those trends.

Sapporo Real Estate

Even as population is experiencing some mild decreases, the real estate market in Sapporo remains strong. In our role as real estate consultants, we make referrals for real estate services in Sapporo. We can help you find an apartment in Sapporo (including a Sapporo short-term furnished apartments), to buy a house in Sapporo, and other real estate matters.

For help with real estate, contact us and we can make personalized introductions to real estate agents in Sapporo that speak English and other languages.

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We work for you, not the real estate companies.

We provide person-to-person introductions to prescreened agents that help you sell, buy, lease, or rent property in Hokkaido. We search our custom database to connect you to real estate professionals that speak your language, address your needs and are available now to help you find what you want.

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For More Information:

— Our complete guide for Buying a House in Sapporo
— Some estimate for the Cost to Buy a House in Sapporo
— Our report on How to Rent an Apartment in Sapporo and Move-In Costs for Sapporo Apartments
— Some details on Short-Term Apartments in Sapporo
— Recent data on the Population of Niseko and Foreign Populations Living in Niseko
— The Population of Otaru
— The Population of Hakodate
International Schools in Sapporo
— Find Lawyers in Hokkaido
— Our Taxes in Japan page
Buying Property in Hokkaido as a Foreigner

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