Number of physicians per 100,000 inhabitants in Japan 2000-2018

As of the end of 2018, there were around 256 practicing physicians per 100,000 inhabitants in Japan, up from approximately 250 in 2016. The total number of physicians engaging in medical care amounted to roughly 327 thousand in 2018. Despite keeping the highest numbers and density of hospitals worldwide, Japan is not included in the list of leading countries when it comes to the count and density of physicians. Japanese hospitals are, therefore, repeatedly said to be suffering from the shortage of physicians and other medical staff.

Profile of physicians

In 2018, the average age of all registered physicians in Japan was 50.3 years old, showing a constant increase from 48.5 years old on average in 2006. Around 28 percent were female, close to double the share of female physicians recorded in 2000. Tokushima Prefecture had the highest number of physicians among all 47 prefectures, with about 326.4 physicians available per 100,000 population.

Physicians employed at hospitals

In Japan, medical facilities can be divided into two categories: hospitals and medical clinics. Japanese hospitals have facilities for the admission of 20 or more inpatients, while medical clinics provide a smaller scale of services. In 2018, the number of physicians working at hospitals exceeded 208 thousand, indicating continuous growth since 2000. In terms of specialty, the highest number of physicians, around 21.5 thousand, were working at internal medicine departments in the hospitals. Close to 10.9 thousand were specializing in surgery.

Number of physicians engaged in medical care per 100,000 inhabitants in Japan from 2000 to 2018

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period

2000 to 2018; as of December 31 of each year

Supplementary notes

Data for years prior to 2018 come from previous reporting.

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Statistics on "Hospitals in Japan"

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