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Home > Statistics > Historical Statistics of Japan > Chapter 20 Family Income and Expenditure > Chapter 20 Family Income and Expenditure Explanation

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Chapter 20 Family Income and Expenditure

  This chapter covers household economy including income, expenditure, and savings.

Brief history

  The Statistics Bureau of the Cabinet Office carried out a survey of family income and expenditure for one year from September 1926 to August 1927 and for the period of ten years from September 1931 to August 1941. However, these surveys were fundamentally different from postwar surveys, because "representative sampling" was adopted while the postwar surveys adopted "random sampling" in the selection of households to be surveyed.

  On the other hand, with respect to farm households, the Imperial Agricultural Association conducted a survey for the period of three years from 1913 to 1915 at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce. In 1921, the survey was resumed as the "Survey of Farm Household Economy," the title of which was changed to the "Survey of Farm Household Management" in 1994. The survey carried out in 1999 was the last one that included income and expenditure as the survey topics. Instead, since 1999 agricultural, forestry and fisheries households have been included in the family income and expenditure survey.

  In addition, the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has been implementing the National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure every five years since 1959 to illuminate regional disparities in family income and expenditure.

  The same Bureau started the "Family Savings Survey" in 1958 and the Economic Planning Agency began the "Current Consumption Survey" in 1957. The "Income and Expenditure Survey For One-person Households " was started in 1995 because the consumption trends of one-person families could no longer be ignored. In 2002, the "Family Savings Survey," the "Income and Expenditure Survey For One-person Households" and the "Family Income and Expenditure Survey," which had been separately carried out, were integrated into one, and these dimensions have been surveyed within the framework of the "Family Income and Expenditure Survey."

  In order to obtain a better understanding of personal spending, the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications began to conduct the "Survey of Household Economy" monthly in 2001. Its purpose is to grasp expenditure in IT-related commodities and expensive goods and services that are infrequently purchased. Since 1996, the Economic and Social Research Institute in the Cabinet Office has been carrying out the "Survey of Consumption Trends " (Until March 2004, the "Survey of Consumption Trends in One-Person Households") every quarter, and since April 2004, every month.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey (Fundamental Statistics)

  The survey is conducted by the Statistical Bureau. Its purpose is to explore the actual conditions of monthly family income and expenditure among the general public, thereby providing basic statistics to be used for formulating effective measures to solve various economic and social problems.

  The population of the survey is the household except institutional households and one-person student households in the entire area of Japan. In this survey, sampled households are requested to fill out a family account book (for both a household with two persons or more and a one-person household), annual income questionnaire, questionnaire on savings and etc. and household questionnaire. A questionnaire on savings and etc. is used only for households with two persons or more.

  The survey duration is six consecutive months for households with two persons or more and three consecutive months for one-person households. One-sixth of households with two persons or more and one-third of one-person households are replaced by new households every month.

The Income and Expenditure Survey For One-person Households (until December 2001)

  The number of one-person households has increased due to aging of the population and to rising of marrying age. As a result, the volume of their spending could be no longer ignored. Hence, the Statistics Bureau of the Management and Coordination Agency (currently the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) started the "Survey on One-Person Households" in January 1995. It has been implemented within the system of the "Family Income and Expenditure Survey" since 2002.

Family Savings Survey (until 2001)

  The Statistics Bureau of the then Management and Coordination Agency conducted the "Family Savings Survey" until 2001.

  The survey was conducted in 1958 for the first time as a trial survey for workers' households in cities (28 cities) where the then "Family Income and Expenditure" was conducted. In 1959, the scope of the survey was expanded to include general households as a target population as well as workers' households. The area covered by the survey was also extended to cities, towns and villages in addition to the twenty-eight cities. It was conducted as of December 31 every year as a supplement for the "Family Income and Expenditure Survey." It has been implemented within the system of the "Family Income and Expenditure Survey" since 2002.

National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure (Fundamental Statistics)

  The survey is designed to look into people's actual living conditions by comprehensively investigating the family income and expenditure, savings, debts, durable consumer goods and family assets such as house and land for a house. The Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has been conducting the survey every five years since 1959 to explore the level, structure and distribution of family spending, income and assets for the entire nation and for each region.

  These sample households are randomly selected from households with two persons or more and households of one person nationwide.

  In 2009, the survey was conducted for the period of three months - September, October and November, whereas it was conducted for two months - October and November - for one-person households. The survey by the individual account book was conducted for one month out of September, October and November.

Current Consumption Survey

  The "Current Consumption Survey" is conducted to promptly monitor changes in the consumer's perception, expenditure on service, and possession and purchase of major durable consumer goods. The statistics are used as basic materials for judging economic trends. It was started in 1957 under the title the "Consumption Demand Forecast Survey." In 1965, the survey of farm households and the survey of non-farm households, which had been separately carried out were merged, and revised to be a quarterly survey of the entire sample households. In 1977, the name of the survey was changed to the "Current Consumption Survey."

  The topics of the survey include the consumer's perception, possession and purchase of main durable consumer goods, past trips and scheduled trips. It is conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute of the Cabinet Office.

Index of Consumption Expenditure Level

  The monthly amount of consumer spending per household depends on the number of days in a month, fluctuation of the price level and the number of household members. Likewise, the aging of the population affects the amount from a long-term perspective. The "Index of Consumption Expenditure Level" is calculated by eliminating all such factors.

  Until 1974, based on the results of the "Family Income and Expenditure Survey," the Economic Planning Agency computed the "Index of Urban Living Expenditure Level," whereas the Ministry of Labour computed the "Index of Urban Living Expenditure Level of Worker's Households." Since 1975, the Statistics Bureau of the Management and Coordination Agency (currently the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) has been issuing the "Index of Living Expenditure Level" each for "non-agricultural/forestry/fisheries households and for "worker's households."

  The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries used to release the "Index of Rural Living Expenditure Level," which was discontinued in 2000. The Economic Planning Agency (currently the Cabinet Office) has been computing the "National Living Expenditure Level" in which the index of consumption level of farm families and the index of consumption level of non-agricultural, -forestry and -fisheries households are combined.

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