【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.95: Share of Healthcare Expenditures in Prefectures' GDP

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

As depicted in Column No.6, the share of healthcare (medical care and long-term care) expenditures in the GDP in 2014 was 10.8%. A prefecture-level analysis of this would enable a clearer insight into the issues faced by Japan's healthcare system.

Table 1 shows the industrial structure and the share of healthcare expenditures in Kochi Prefecture and the Tokyo Metropolitan area's GDP. As explained in the note accompanying Column No.10, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare prepares an index by prefecture (there are 47 prefectures in Japan) to measure regional differences in medical expenses. The index excludes the age factor, which greatly affects medical expenses per capita. Kochi's index is 1.186, which means that its residents use medical care services 18.6 % more than the national average. As a result, the share of healthcare expenditures in Kochi's GDP is as high as 15.8%.

On the other hand, the share of healthcare expenditures in the GDP is as low as 5.1% in Tokyo. The first reason for this low share is that the population is concentrated in Tokyo and the scale of other industries is large. The second reason is that Tokyo's index is 0.978 due to the medical care consumption of its residents being below the national average.

Table 1   Examples of prefectural GDP breakdown(Data for 2014)


(Source)Cabinet Office

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