Table 1

Descriptive statistics for the four groups of SMA

Year2015
GroupGroup 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
Mean (SD)Mean (SD)Mean (SD)Mean (SD)
No of SMAs1026910269
Population642 597.2 (482 508.7)151 509.4 (111 306.4)128 375.4 (94 651.9)508 911.4 (379 888.0)
Density of population (km2)3275.9 (3721.8)471.2 (154.9)352.3 (167.2)2613.1 (2774.7)
Physicians1587.3 (1499.7)306.3 (263.5)174.8 (130.6)757.5 (606.9)
Physicians per 100 000 population233.6 (93.4)193.1 (35.2)134.5 (23.5)145.5 (19.7)
  • Group 1: Urban areas with a higher initial physician supply. Group 2: Rural areas with a higher initial physician supply.

  • Group 3: Rural areas with a lower initial physician supply. Group 4: Urban areas with a lower initial physician supply.

  • We excluded seven SMAs in Fukushima prefecture from our analysis because the estimated population data for those areas were lacking due to the large earthquake in 2011.

  • SMAs, secondary medical areas.