Did you know that a new municipal directory is published every year to coincide with the start of the business year on April 1? It presents an overview of the most up-to-date statistical data on Fukuoka City. It’s also placed on the Fukuoka city website. This month, I’ll profile the city using these new figures.
The city’s population keeps growing every year, and as of October 1, 2008, it stood at 1,437,718 people in 684,717 households. The females outnumber the males; there were 749,668 women to 688,050 men. Fukuoka is a relatively young city for Japan, with an average age of 40.3. The city has seven wards, the most populous of which is Higashi Ward. In contrast, Jonan Ward has the fewest people. Characteristic of Fukuoka’s industrial structure is the concentration of tertiary industry, which includes the retail sector, the service industry, and eating and drinking places. This is Fukuoka City’s basic industry. Of the 769,900 employed workers in the city, Primary industry—agriculture and fisheries—accounts for only 0.1%, or 446 people. Secondary industry (manufacturing) employs 89,287 people, or 11.6% of the workforce. The remaining 680,167 people work in Tertiary industry.
Many financial institutions make Fukuoka City their home, and the city also has Kyushu’s only stock exchange. Symbolic of the city’s convenience is the nearness of Fukuoka Airport. It is only five minutes by subway from Hakata Station, and just 11 minutes away from Tenjin, the city’s primary shopping district, which is also an important business district. The airport is easily accessible by expressway, so many people throughout Kyushu use it. The airport has flights to 22 cities in Japan and 16 cities abroad, primarily Asia. It is ranked fourth nationwide in the number of users, as 17.29 million passengers pass through the terminal a year. The city’s symbol was selected in a nationwide contest in 1909, and features an arrangement of nine katakana characters that represent “fu”. Its official trees and flowers were determined in 1979 on the 90th anniversary of its incorporation as a municipality. The “town tree” is the Round Leaf Holly, the “plaza tree” is the Camphor Laurel, the Summer flower is the Cotton Rosemallow, and the Winter flower is the Sasanqua. In 1989, on the occasion of the city’s 100th anniversary, the meadow bunting and the black-headed gull were selected as its official birds. This year marks the 120th anniversary of Fukuoka City’s incorporation as a municipality. Why not look at the municipal directory to find out more about the city? http://www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/sisei/
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn125, May 2009)