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No.132(2013/8/1)
Survey Shows Income of Households with Children Increased
Following Introduction of Child Allowance

The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare announced the results of its 2012 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions on July 4, 2013. This survey, which is conducted once every three years, investigates basic aspects of living conditions, such as health, medical treatment, welfare, pension and income, with the aim of obtaining basic reference data necessary for the planning and management of health, labour, and welfare administration.

According to the latest survey results, the average number of members of all households in 2011 was 2.57 persons, and the average annual household income was 5,482,000 yen, a year-on-year increase of 1.9%. While the average income of elderly households dropped 1.2% to 3,036,000 yen, the average income of households with children rose 5.9% to 6,970,000 yen. This increase of income in households with children is thought to have contributed to the overall increase.

Notes:
(1) 1994 figures exclude Hyogo Prefecture.
(2) 2010 figures exclude Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures.
(3) 2011 figures exclude Fukushima Prefecture.

Regarding the income composition of households with children, the survey results revealed that while earned income amounted to 6,262,000 yen, a slight increase of just 4,000 yen over the previous year, income from social security benefits other than pensions amounted to 258,000 yen, a 2.3-fold increase of 146,000 yen over the previous year. The introduction of a child allowance in April 2011 appears to have had an impact here.

Regarding the perception of their living conditions by households with children, 65.3% of these households replied that living conditions were "difficult," a decline of 0.3 points from the previous year. At the same time, though, the share of households replying that they were "comfortable" also declined, from 4.2% in the previous year to 3.1%. The only increase was in the ratio of households replying "normal," which rose 1.4 points over the previous year to 31.6%. These results appear to show that while earned income is stagnating, the increase of income due to social security benefits (and especially the child allowance) had some impact on the perception of living conditions.

Income of Elderly Households Declines; More Elderly Households Feeling the Pressure
The average income of elderly households was 3,036,000 yen, down 1.2% from the previous year. Of this income, the public pension accounted for 2,098,000 yen, down 3.0%, or 65,000 yen, from the previous year. Earned income also dropped by 3,000 yen to 592,000 yen. Earned income accounted for 19.5% of the average income of elderly households, which was higher than such components as asset income (5.8%) and income from remittances, corporate pensions, and private pensions (4.8%) and illustrated elderly people's keenness and economic need to work.

Regarding the perception of their living conditions by elderly households, 54.0% of these households replied that living conditions were "difficult," up 2.5 points over the previous year. In contrast, the share of elderly households replying that they were "comfortable" declined from 4.5% in the previous year to 3.3%. The ratio of those replying "normal" also dropped from 44.0% in the previous year to 42.7%.

There are various reasons why elderly people work, including economic necessity, meaningfulness, participation in society, and health. However, since the survey results show that the amount of pension benefits is declining and the ratio of households saying that living conditions are "difficult" is on the rise, it can be guessed that many elderly people are working for economic reasons.


Notes:
(1) "Children" mean unmarried juveniles under the age of 18 years. "Elderly households" are households consisting of members aged 65 years or over or such households living together with unmarried juveniles under the age of 18 years.
(2) The latest survey was conducted in 46 prefectures, excluding Fukushima Prefecture. Comparisons with the previous year similarly involved 46 prefectures.
(3) A new child allowance scheme, introduced from April 2012, featured the introduction of parent income restrictions and the classification of benefits according to the child's age.
(4) For the purposes of the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions, "earned income" refers to employment income, business income, agricultural and livestock farming income, and work-at-home income.
(5) "Asset income" refers to income generated from the ownership and management of assets, such as money, securities, land, and property.

Average Income per Household by Type of Income and Component Ratios
  Total income Earned income Public pension, etc. Asset income Social security benefits other
than pension
Remittance,
corporate pension, private pension,
other income
  Average income per household (unit: 10,000 yen)
All households            
 2009 (2010 survey)            
  46 prefectures 550.2 408.5 102.2 17.5 5.5 16.4
 2011 (2012 survey) 548.2 409.5 100.7 16.3 8.6 13.2
Elderly households            
 2009 (2010 survey)            
  46 prefectures 308.5 53.5 216.3 18.4 2.5 17.8
 2011 (2012 survey) 303.6 59.2 209.8 17.6 2.3 14.6
Households with children            
2009 (2010 survey)            
46 prefectures 696.5 625.8 31.7 14.2 11.2 13.6
2011 (2012 survey) 697.0 626.2 27.1 11.2 25.8 6.8
  Component ratios of average income per household (unit: %)
All households            
 2009 (2010 survey)            
  46 prefectures 100.0 74.3 18.6 3.2 1.0 3.0
 2011 (2012 survey) 100.0 74.7 18.4 3.0 1.6 2.4
Elderly households            
 2009 (2010 survey)            
  46 prefectures 100.0 17.3 70.1 6.0 0.8 5.8
 2011 (2012 survey) 100.0 19.5 69.1 5.8 0.8 4.8
Households with children            
 2009 (2010 survey)            
  46 prefectures 100.0 89.8 4.5 2.0 1.6 2.0
 2011 (2012 survey) 100.0 89.8 3.9 1.6 3.7 1.0

Note: 2011 figures (2012 survey) exclude Fukushima Prefecture. Also, because the income questionnaire is not formed to make the figure by prefecture possible, the 2009 figures (2010 surveys) for Fukushima Prefecture are not included.

Component Ratios of Number of Households by Perception of Living Conditions
(Unit: %)
  Total Difficult   Normal Comfor-
table
 
Very difficult Somewhat difficult Somewhat comfort-
table
Very comfort-
table
All households                
 2010                
  46 prefectures 100.0 59.3 27.0 32.3 35.8 4.8 4.2 0.7
 2012 100.0 60.4 28.6 31.8 35.8 3.8 3.5 0.4
Elderly households                
 2010                
  46 prefectures 100.0 51.5 21.3 30.2 44.0 4.5 4.0 0.5
 2012 100.0 54.0 25.2 28.8 42.7 3.3 2.8 0.5
Households with children                
 2010                
  46 prefectures 100.0 65.6 30.9 34.7 30.2 4.2 3.9 0.3
 2012 100.0 65.3 31.3 34.0 31.6 3.1 2.8 0.2

Note: 2012 figures exclude Fukushima Prefecture. Also, because the income questionnaire is not formed to make the figure by prefecture possible, the 2009 figures (2010 surveys) for Fukushima Prefecture are not included.

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