Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau
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Survey on Household Economy 

Summary of the 2003 Survey of Household Economy (Results Related to Information Technology (IT))

I Outline

1. Ownership and Utilization of Equipments and Services Related to Information Technology (IT)

a. Ownership of Equipments that are able to use Internet

  The proportion of households owning equipments that are able to use Internet averaged 53.6% in 2003, up 4.8 percentage points from the previous year's 48.8%. Among the equipments, Personal Computer/Word Processor together held the largest share at 45.4% of all the households surveyed, followed by Cell Phone/PHS, which accounted for 39.3%. Compared with the preceding year, Personal Computer/Word Processor registered a 5.0-point increase, while Cell Phone/PHS marked a 4.6-point gain.

b. Equipment that households used Internet for longest

  Among the equipments that are able to use Internet, Personal Computer/Word Processor together held the top position in terms of most usage for Internet access at 32.5%, followed by 8.4% of Cell Phone/PHS. Compared with the preceding year, while Personal Computer/Word Processor marked a 5.0-point increase, Cell Phone/PHS registered a 0.6-point drop.

c. Means of Communication for using Internet

  Among households owning equipments that are able to use Internet, the proportion of those accessing the Internet (except by i(L)-mode, J-sky, EZweb) expanded by 8.8 points over the year before to 34.8%. In a further breakdown of access by communication means in terms of access frequency, xDSL lines (ADSL, etc.) rose 7.0 points over the preceding year to 11.8% (the largest share for this year) while analog telephone lines, the previous year's leader, declined by 0.3 of a point to 9.1%.

2. Utilization of Internet

a. Utilization Internet by Purpose

  The proportion of households in which at least one member of household had accessed the Internet at any time was 41.6%, up 4.6 points over the 37.0% of the year before.

  Breaking down these figures according to the purpose of access, the collection of information accounted for the largest share (37.7%) among the households surveyed, followed by e-mail (30.6%) and Internet shopping (11.5%).

b. Order through Internet on purchasing

  In an analysis of Internet use for purchasing goods and/or services, among the households in which any member of household had at any time used the Internet for the collection of information 24.0% had made purchases using the Internet, up 4.0 points over the preceding year. The proportion of households in which one or more members had at any time ordered anything via the Internet was 14.8% of all the households surveyed, while that of households in which a member had paid via the Internet stood at 8.1%.

II. Analysis by Attribute of Household

Two-or-more-person households

1. Analysis by Age Group of Household head

a. Ownership of equipments that are able to use Internet

  In an analysis of households owning hardware with Internet access by age Group of the household head, the 30-39 (years old) group came out top with an ownership rate of 78.9%, followed by those aged 40-49 at 78.1% and those under 30 at 73.4%. The lowest rate was 26.4% for households whose heads were 70 years old or above.

  In a breakdown by type of hardware with Internet access, the proportion of Personal Computer/Word Processor was higher in every bracket of those above 30 years of age, while that of Cell Phone/PHS was higher in the under-30 generation.

b. Utilization of Internet during Survey Month

  In an analysis of households in which a member had accessed the Internet during the survey month, the 30-39 bracket marked the highest proportion at 66.1%, followed by those 40-49 years old at 63.9% and the under-30 group at 59.0%. Those 70 years old or above were again the lowest at 16.4%.

  In terms of the proportion of households in which a member had at any time collected information via the Internet for purchasing goods and/or services, the highest ranked age bracket again was the 30-39 group at 42.3%, while the lowest was the over-70s generation at 7.9%.

2. Analysis by Industries of Household head

a. Ownership of equipments that are able to use Internet

  In a breakdown by householder occupation of households owning hardware with Internet access, senior executives of companies were ranked top with an ownership rate of 71.4%, followed by employees at 71.0% and self-employed persons and others at 55.0%.

b. Utilization of Internet during Survey Month 

  In a breakdown by householder occupation of households in which a member had accessed the Internet in the month of the survey, senior executives of companies topped the list at 58.1%, followed by employees at 56.3% and self-employed persons and others at 39.7%.

3. Analysis by Annual Income

a. Ownership of equipments that are able to use Internet

  In terms of households that has hardware with Internet access, it was found that the higher the income, the higher the ownership rate of such hardware.

b. Utilization of Internet during Survey Month

  In a breakdown of households in which a member had accessed the Internet in the month of the survey, it was found that the greater the income, the higher the access rate.

  A similar trend was found regarding the proportion of households in which a member had collected information via the Internet for purchasing goods and/or services at any time.

One-person households

1. Analyses by Age and Sex

a. Ownership of equipments that are able to use Internet

  In a breakdown of households owning hardware with Internet access, those below 35 years of age ranked top with an ownership rate of 72.4%, followed by the 35-59 bracket at 45.2%, while the lowest rate (10.5%) represented those 60 years old or above. In an analysis by sex, men marked a higher rate of ownership (51.5%) than women (29.6%).

  By type of hardware, Cell Phone/PHS ranked highest in the under-35 bracket, while that of Personal Computer/Word Processor was highest in the 35-59 and over-60 groups.

b. Utilization of Internet during Survey Month

  In a breakdown of households in which a member had accessed the Internet in the month of the survey, the highest rate of 66.1% was registered by the under-35 bracket, followed by 34.0% for those 35-59. The lowest rate (4.4%) was marked by those over 60. In a breakdown by sex, men showed a higher rate (43.4%) than women (22.7%).

  In terms of the proportion of households that had ever collected information via the Internet for purchasing goods and/or services, the top age bracket was the under-35 group at 39.4%, while the lowest was the over-60 group at 1.5%. In an analysis by sex, men again came out top at 25.9%, compared to 12.5% for women.

2. Ownership of equipments that are able to use Internet by Yearly Income Group

  In those households that had hardware with Internet access, it was found that the greater the annual income, the higher the ownership rate.

III. Geographical Analysis

  In a geographical breakdown of households owning equipments that are able to use Internet, the Kanto District came first with an ownership rate of 59.8%, followed by the Tohoku and Kinki District, both at 52.9%.

  In an analysis of households in which any member had ever accessed the Internet, the Kanto District was ranked top with a 49.1% rate, followed by the Kinki District at 43.6% and the Chugoku District at 38.7%.

  In a similar analysis of households any of whose members had ever collected information via the Internet for purchasing goods and/or services, the Kanto District led others at a rate of 30.6%, followed by the Kinki District at 25.8% and the Hokkaido District at 21.4%.

(Appendix) Quarterly Analyses

1. Trends of Ownership and Utilization of equipments and Services Related to Information Technology (IT)

a. Trends of Ownership of equipments that are able to use Internet

  In terms of the number of households owning hardware with Internet access, the ownership rate was generally higher in the corresponding quarter of 2002: 53.4% in January-March, 52.0% in April-June, 55.1% in July-September and 54.0% in October-December.

  In terms of types of hardware, Personal Computer/Word Processor led others in every quarter, followed by Cell Phone/PHS.

b. Trends of Means of Communication for using Internet

  Among households owning hardware with Internet access (except direct Internet access by i-mode/L-mode and other telephones), the proportion of those accessing the Internet generally increased from 2002.

  To trace the trend of the most frequently used means of communication, the share of analog telephone lines was 8.8% and that of xDSL lines 7.6% in the October-December quarter of 2002, but their relative positions were reversed in the January-March quarter of 2003 (9.7% against 10.5%), followed by a widening tendency of the gap between them.

2. Trends of Utilization of Internet

  In an analysis of households in which any member had at any time accessed the Internet, the proportion where such use was for the collection of information was 37.8% in January-March, 36.3% in April-June, 39.2% in July-September and 37.7% in the October-December quarters, manifesting a generally upward tendency since 2002. The share of e-mails was about the same as in 2002, standing at 31.4% in January-March, 29.8% in April-June, 31.4% in July-September and 29.9% in the October-December quarter.

  The upward trend of Internet shopping maintained the level of 2002, marking 10.7% in January-March, 11.0% in April-June, 11.3% in July-September and 12.7% in the October- December quarter.

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