"McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15." - Thomas Friedman
On July 20th, 1971, the first Japanese McDonald's opened in Tokyo. While that's 31 years after the first one opened in San Bernardino, Japan has quickly become 2nd ranking nation with the most McDonald's.
With an estimated 312,072,000 people, the United States accounts for 4.52% of the world's population. With an estimated 31,000 plus locations globally, America's 13,381 locations account for roughly 43% of the world's McDonald's. In total, the US has one McDonalds per every 23,322 citizens.
While Japan, with a population of 127,370,000, has 3,598 locations. While Japan accounts for only 1.85% of the world's population it has nearly 12% of the world's McDonald's with one per every 35,400 citizens. Even my city of residence 青森市 / Aomori, with an estimated population of 302,068, has 5 locations providing one McDonald's per every 60,413 people. But 青森市 is in the rural Tohoku region. Now factor in Japan's bustling metropolitan areas, and that's a lot of McDonald's to make up for the numbers.
What about the competition? Burger King left in 2001, returned in 2007 and now has a mere 37 locations. America's 3rd fast food burger chain, Wendy's, left Japan in early 2010. Mos Burger, founded just one year after McDonald's landed in Japan, is the nation's 2nd largest fast food chain with an estimated 1327 locations. Consequently, McDonald's has nearly 3 times as many locations as its closest competition.
Of course these numbers don't account for competition, population density, tourists, economic factors, or dietary differences. Surprisingly using statistics alone, you're more likely to find a McDonald's in Canada, than either the US or Japan with one location per every 2,454 people.
Also surprisingly is that South Korea which shares some of Japan's food culture has only 243 locations with one per every 199,592 people. Lotteria, though first founded in Japan in 1972, is Korea's number one fast food chain accounting for 45% of the market.
|McDonald's World Locations|