Studies in Regional Science
Online ISSN : 1880-6465
Print ISSN : 0287-6256
ISSN-L : 0287-6256
A Proposed Support Method for Rural Settlement in a Depopulating and Aging Society: Clustering and Development of Daily Life Convenience Indexes Based on All Settlement Data of Hokkaido Prefecture
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2021 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 15-35


  Japan is faced on a depopulating and aging society. For instance, 3,688 rural settlementshave existed in Hokkaido Prefecture, but more than half of these settlements are now populatedwith less than 100 residents and over half of this population is elderly aged 65 and over. Furthermore,the population of Hokkaido Prefecture is forecast to decline by 1.38 million in 2,045. These issues may directly link to a loss of daily life functions and transportation facilities, as wellas other problems.

  Based on this background, we targeted a rural settlement in Hokkaido Prefecture. In thisstudy, we newly proposed an index for living convenience by means of principal component analysisbased on 5 factors ; shopping, medical services, money and banking, logistics, and transportation.

  Rural settlements were categorized by means of a Cluster Analysis based on the above mentionedindex and the population structure and transportation service status. From this analysis,it can be seen that rural settlements with a loss of living facility function exist in Hiyama, Soya,Siribeshi, Hidaka and Sorachi regions of Hokkaido Prefecture.

  We also analyzed the degree of enrichment of support for rural settlements by means of aCustomer Satisfaction Analysis. This analysis showed that human resources, development andcontinuation of the regional transportation positively effect support of the rural settlements. Based on these results, we suggest a support method and policy to keep rural settlements viable.

JEL Classification:R5

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© 2021 by The Japan Section of the Regional Science Association International
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