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Women Outnumber

Men Among Japanese

Residing Overseas


Statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs show that there are 705,183 women on long-term overseas stays, compared to 646,787 men. Women have outnumbered men in this respect since 1999, suggesting that Japanese women might be keener to live overseas.

Statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs show that, as of October 1, 2017, there were 1,351,970 Japanese living overseas, of whom 705,183 (52.2%) were women and 646,787 (47.8%) were men. Women first became the majority among overseas Japanese residents in 1999 and have maintained that position ever since.

Women accounted for 61.6% of all permanent residents, but were in the minority, at 46.9%, among long-term residents without permanent status.

By occupation, the majority of overseas residents are connected to private companies. But among those who are overseas in relation to private firms, there are far more men than women who are the heads of their household under Japan’s overseas residence registration system for Japanese citizens. Male company employees account for 27% of all the heads of households among long-term residents, whereas women account for just 4%. Women living with male company workers make up 15% of all long-term residents.

More Japanese women than men are on long-term stays as students, researchers, or teachers. Women have been active in seizing overseas study and research opportunities to hone their careers. However, it seems that women have limited opportunities when it comes to being dispatched overseas by private companies. Rather, many women are accompanying their husbands who have been dispatched to foreign countries.

Australia and the United States are conspicuous as countries with a relatively high number of women with long-term visas or permanent residency who are the heads of their households rather than being cohabitating family members. And in South Korea, women account for more than 70% of all Japanese residents who are the heads of households.

Countries with the Most Japanese Female Residents (Not Including Cohabitants)  WomenMenPercentage of WomenUnited States134,096110,85254.7%Australia41,96720,21267.4%Canada29,52414,05367.8%Britain24,13413,82863.6%France17,0678,33167.2%China15,95872,17618.1%South Korea15,1085,89371.9%Germany14,44812,22254.2%

Created by based on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statistics on Japanese overseas residents.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta.)