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Home > Statistics > Housing and Land Survey > Explanation of Terms of the 2008 Survey > 2. Households-related Terms

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Housing and Land Survey

2. Households-related Terms

Principal Households and Lodging Households

If a household occupied an entire dwelling, the household was defined as the "principal household." In the case of two or more households living together in a dwelling, the owner of the dwelling--or, in the case of no owner living together, the chief lessee--was defined as the "principal household," and the others were defined as "lodging households."
When two or more single persons were living together in a dwelling, such as an unmarried person living in an apartment together with a friend or friends, one of them was defined as the "principal household" and each of the other persons was defined as a "lodging household," for the sake of convenience.

Ordinary Households and Quasi-households

An "ordinary household" was defined as a household of persons, such as family members, sharing living quarters and living expenses. Lodging households consisting of family members as well as one-person households living in a dwelling were also defined as "ordinary households." All principal households were regarded as "ordinary households."
A "quasi-household" was defined as a single person or a group of single persons who lived in a boarding or lodging house, were live-in employees, or who lived in an occupied building other than dwellings, such as a company dormitory or a hotel.

Household Members

"Household members" refer to the number of persons usually living in a household.
Those who were temporarily away from home as of the date of the survey were included here. The crewmen of ships, except those of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, who had been away from home for a long time and live-in housekeeping employees living apart from their families, were included in the household members concerned. Lodgers and live-in employees were excluded.

Type of Household

1.Ordinary households were classified as follows:

(1)One-person households
a.One-person households of a person up to age 64
  (a)One-person household of a person up to age 29
  (b)One-person household of a person age 30-64
b.One-person households of a person age 65 or older
  (a)One-person household of a person age 75 or older

(2)Two-person households
a.Household of a couple only
  (a)Aged couple*
  (b)Others
b.Others
c.(Reclassified) Households of persons age 65 or older only

(3)Three-person households
a.Household of a couple and a child up to age 2
b.Household of a couple and a child age 3-5
c.Household of a couple and a child age 6-9
d.Household of a couple and a child age 10-17
e.Household of a couple and a person age 18-24
f.Household of a couple and a person age 25 or older
g.Others
h.(Reclassified) Households with household members including an aged couple*
i.(Reclassified) Households of persons age 65 or older only

(4)Four-person households
a.Household of a couple and children up to age 2
b.Household of a couple and children age 3-5
c.Household of a couple and children age 6-9
d.Household of a couple and children age 10-17
e.Household couple and persons age 18-24
f.Household of a couple and persons age 25 or older
g.Household of a couple and a child up to age 17 and a person age 65 or older
h.Others
i.(Reclassified) Households with household members including an aged couple*
j.(Reclassified) Household of persons age 65 or older only

(5)Five-person households
a.Household of a couple and children up to age 5
b.Household of a couple and children age 6-9
c.Household of a couple and children age 10-17
d.Household of a couple and persons age 18-24
e.Household of a couple and persons age 25 or older
f.Household of a couple and children up to age 17 and a person age 65 or older
g.Others
h.(Reclassified) Households with household members including an aged couple*

(6)Six persons or more households
a.Household of a couple and children up to age 17
b.Household of a couple and persons age 18-24
c.Household of a couple and persons age 25 or older
d.Household of a couple and children up to age 17 and persons age 65 or older
e.Others
f.(Reclassified) Households with household members including an aged couple*

If a spouse is away from the house for a long time (e.g., business bachelor), and not included in the household members, the type of household is determined by excluding the spouse.
Also note that for (2)-(6), only one-couple households were classified in detail, and those having two couples or more were classified as "Others." Furthermore, when there are two or more persons besides the couple in the household, it was classified according to the age of the eldest person.

*An aged couple is one where the husband is age 65 or older, and the wife is age 60 or older.

2.Aged Persons households were classified as follows:

(1)One person age 65 or older

(2)One or both members of a couple age 65 or older
a.Either member of a couple age 65 or older Households of only one couple where either husband or wife only is age 65 or older
b.Both members of a couple age 65 or older Households of only one couple where both husband and wife are age 65 or older

(3)(Reclassified) Households consisting of a couple where the husband is age 65 or older, and the wife is age 60 or older.

(4)(Separate tabulation) With household members age 65 or older

(5)(Reclassified) One person age 75 or older

(6)(Reclassified) One or both members of a couple age 75 or older
a.Either member of a couple age 75 or older Households of only one couple where either husband or wife only is age 75 or older
b.Both members of a couple age 75 or older Households of only one couple where both husband and wife are age 75 or older

(7)(Separate tabulation) With household members age 75 or older

Family Type

According to the members usually living in the households, family type was classified based on the youngest couple in the household as follows:

Households consisting of relatives

Nuclear family households

Households consisting only of a married couple

Households consisting of a married couple and their child or children

Households with male householder with his child or children

Households with female householder with her child or children

Other households consisting of relative(s)

Households consisting of a married couple and their parents

  Households consisting of a married couple and the husband's parents

  Households consisting of a married couple and wife's parents

Households consisting of a married couple and a parent

  Households consisting of a married couple and a husband's parent

  Households consisting of a married couple and the wife's parent

Three-generation households with a married couple, a child or children, and two grandparents

  Households consisting of a married couple, a child or children, and the husband's parents

  Households consisting of a married couple, a child or children, and wife's parents

Three-generation households with a married couple, a child or children, and one grandparent

  Households consisting of a married couple, a child or children, and the husband's parent

  Households consisting of a married couple, a child or children, and the wife's parent

Households with a married couple and other relative(s) (other than parents, a child or children)

Households with a married couple, a child or children and other relative(s) (other than parents)

Households with a married couple, parent(s) and other relative(s) (other than a child or children)

  Households with a married couple, husband's parent(s) and other relatine(s)

  Households with a married couple, the wife's parent(s) and other relatine(s)

Households consisting of three generations and other relative(s)

  Households with a married couple, child or children, husband's parent(s) and other relative(s)

  Households with a married couple, child or children, wife's parent(s) and other relative(s)

Households consisting only of siblings

Households consisting of relative(s) not classified elsewhere

Households consisting of non-relative(s)

One-person households

"Households consisting of relatives" are those having at least one family member who is a relative of the head of household, among households which have two or more members. Even though there is a non-relative household (e.g., live-in housekeeping employee) residing together with the household, the household is categorized as "Households consisting of relatives." For example, "Households consisting only of a married couple" include not only households with a married couple, but also those with a married couple and a live-in housekeeping employee.
"Households consisting of non-relatives(s)" are those having no relatives of the head of household, among households which have two or more members.

Age of Household Member

"Age" refers to the age at the last birthday before October 1, 2008.

Annual Income of the Household

"Annual income" includes the total annual income (including tax) earned by all households members.
Bonuses and overtime payments, revenue from such assets as rent, interests, dividends, and pensions were also included. However, extraordinary revenue, such as inheritance, donations and retirement allowance, were not included.
In the case of self-employed workers, figures for operating income (not sales) excluding purchasing costs, material costs, personnel expenses, and other necessary expenses were used.

Monthly Rent

The amount of the monthly rent paid most recently was recorded for ordinary households except those living in owned houses.
Deposits, premiums, key money, and utility charges and maintenance expenses were not included here.

Charge for Common Services

These refer to the rates for water, electricity, cleaning, etc. for such common areas as corridors, stairs, etc. paid separately from rent.

Housing Area Standards

Housing area standards have been established as goals of the Basic Plan for Housing (National Plan) (Cabinet Decision, September 2006) to ensure and improve stable housing for people, by setting standards pertaining to housing areas as follows:

Minimum Housing Standard

This is the basic level absolutely essential for healthy and cultural living depending on the number of household members, and every household should attain this level.

Targeted Housing Standard

This is the level of housing area that should be attained by every household as a prerequisite for realizing comfortable housing conditions in response to varied lifestyles depending on the number of household members. This standard consists of the following two types:

Urban Areas

 This standard is for dwellings in apartment houses in the central and surrounding areas of cities.

Rural Areas

 This standard is for detached houses in the suburbs of cities and in general non-urban areas.


This housing area standards indicate several criteria regarding housing area according to the size (number of members) of households reflecting various household compositions, as a prerequisite for fulfilling the basic functions of housing performance levels (as set forth in Annex 1 of the Basic Plan for Housing). These standards may not apply to housing used by one-person households for comparatively short periods and apartments having common-use kitchens and/or bathrooms of appropriate size.
In this survey, the total floor space and situations regarding various facilities for each household were used, in principle, to determine whether a household satisfied the respective housing area standards based on the following conditions:

Minimum Housing Area Standard

1.In case of households of two or more persons, the total floor space (total area) or more of the housing obtained by the following formula is secured:
10 square meter x number of household members + 10 square meter(Note 1 & Note 2)

2.In case of one-person households, either of the following conditions is satisfied:

   (1)One-person household of a person up to age 29 having an exclusive-use kitchen and dwelling room area of 4.5 tatami units or more

   (2)One-person household of a person up to age 29 having a common-use kitchen and dwelling room area of 6.0 tatami units or more

   (3)One-person household of a person age 30 or older having total floor space (total area) of 25 square meter or more.

Targeted Housing Area Standard

  Urban Area

1.In case of households of two or more persons, the total floor space (total area) or more of the housing obtained by the following formula is secured:
20 square meter x number of household members + 15 square meter(Note 1 & Note 2)

2.In case of one-person households, either of the following conditions is satisfied:

   (1)One-person household of a person up to age 29 having an independent kitchen and dwelling room area of 10.5 tatami units or more

   (2)One-person household of a person up to age 29 having a kitchen also used as a dining room or for other purposes, or a common-use kitchen, and dwelling room area of 12.0 tatami units or more

   (3)One-person household of a person age 30 or older having total floor space (total area) of 40 square meter or more

Rural Areas

1.In case of households of two or more persons, the total floor space (total area) or more of the housing obtained by the following formula is secured:
25 square meter x number of household members + 25 square meter (Note 1 & Note 2)

2.In case of one-person households, either of the following conditions is satisfied:

   (1)One-person household of a person up to age 29 having an independent kitchen and dwelling room area of 15.0 tatami units or more

   (2)One-person household of a person up to age 29 having a kitchen also used as a dining room or for other purposes, or a common-use kitchen, and dwelling room area of 16.5 tatami units or more

   (3)One-person household of a person age 30 or older having total floor space (total area) of 55 square meter or more.


Note 1: For counting the number of household members, a child up to age 2 is counted as a 0.25 person, a child age 3-5 as a 0.5 person, and a child age 6-9 (under 10) as a 0.75 person. However, if the total number of household members does not reach two persons, the household shall be deemed having two members. Any person whose age is unknown shall be counted as one person.
Note 2: If the number of household members (with the number counted accordingly in case Note 1 applies) exceeds four persons, 5% of the areas shall be deducted from those indicated.

Households that satisfy the respective housing area standards were further evaluated based on the installed facilities using the following criteria for each housing standard.

Households that Exceed the Minimum Housing Area Standard and Satisfy the Following Criteria for Installed Facilities

  (1)Have an exclusive-use kitchen

  (2)Have a flush toilet

  (3)Have a bathroom

  (4)Have a lavatory

Households that Exceed the Targeted Housing Area Standard and Satisfy the Following Criteria for Installed Facilities

  (1)Have an exclusive-use kitchen

  (2)Have a flush toilet

  (3)Have a bathroom

  (4)Have a lavatory

Main Eaner of Household

The main earner refers to the person who is mainly responsible for earning the livelihood for his/her household. In case the household lives on remittances obtained from other households, etc., one household member was deemed a representative and the main earner, for the sake of convenience.

Age

"Age" refers to the age at the last birthday before October 1, 2008.

Employment Status

Main earners were classified in the categories shown below.

Employment Status

Self-employed Workers

In agriculture, forestry, or fisheries

  Persons who operate a farm, forestry, or fisheries business on their own.

In commerce, industry, etc.

  Persons who operate a business other than in agriculture, forestry or fisheries on their own. Included here are the owners of private stores and factories, and those engaged in a business requiring specialized techniques or knowledge (e.g., physicians, lawyers, writers, painters, certified public accountants). Handicraft workers who work at home are also included in this category.

Employees

Employees of a company, association, public corporation or of individuals

  Workers who are regularly employed (as company employees, association members, store clerks, etc.) by companies, public corporations such as the Urban Renaissance Agency (former Public Corporation) or other corporations, associations or individuals, and receive wages and salaries.
  Executives such as company or public corporation presidents, managing directors and directors are also included in this category.

Government regular employees

  Employees who are regularly employed in central or local government offices and receive wages and salaries.

Temporary workers

  Persons who are employed on a daily basis, or who hold a contract of employment for a specified period of less than a year.

Without occupation

Students

Persons who have no job and mainly attend school.

Others

  Persons who live on remittances from relatives, unemployment insurance benefits, livelihood assistance money, pensions, revenues from assets, etc.

Commuting Hours

"Commuting time" refers to the total amount of time required to commute (one way) from one's domicile to one's place of work by bus, train or other usual form of transportation, including the amount of time spent walking. In the case of farmers, foresters and fishermen who work in their own fields, forests, and aboard fishing boats, and in the case of self-employed carpenters, plasterers, peddlers, and others who travel various distances for their work, the time spent for commuting is taken as "own dwelling/rooming-in" for the sake of convenience.

Year of last move of main earner

The survey recorded the year of relocation to the present dwelling. In case the present house was rebuilt on the same site after the respondent had moved in, the year of initial relocation to the site was used. In case the main earner of the household had been living in the house since birth, the year of birth was used.

Place of Previous Residence

As for the persons who relocated to the present dwelling after January 2004, the previous residence was reported as follows:

The same Shi, Ku, Machi, or Mura

  This refers to cases where the previous dwelling was located in the same shi, ku, machi, or mura as the present dwelling.

Other Shi, Ku, Machi, or Mura in Same Prefecture

  This refers to cases where the previous dwelling was located in a different shi, ku, machi, or mura in the same prefecture as the present dwelling.

Another Prefecture

  This refers to cases where the previous dwelling was located in a different prefecture from the present dwelling.

Outside Japan

  Cases where the previous residence was in a foreign country were included here.

Type of the Previous Residence

As for persons who relocated to the present dwelling after January 2004, the type of previous residence was recorded and classified into the following categories, for which details are provided in the section on dwellings:

Lived in Relative's Houses

  For cases in where the person resided in the homes of parents or other relatives.

Owned Houses

  Detached houses or tenement houses
  Apartments

Rented Houses

  • Rented houses owned by a local government
  • Rented houses owned by the Urban Renaissance Agency (former Public Corporation)
  • Rentrd houses owned privately (detached houses or tenement houses)
  • Rented houses owned privately (apartments)
  • Issued houses

Lived in Shared Houses or Employer's House

Lived in Dormitories

Others

  Buildings other than dwellings not classified elsewhere, such as hospitals, schools, hotels  and factories.

Residence of Son/Daughter of Main Earner Living in Different Households

"The residence of the son/daughter of the main earner, living in a different household" was classified as follows:
When the main earner has two or more children residing in different place, the child residing in the nearest place was recorded in this survey.

Son/Daughter Living in Different Households

   Living Together

  In the case of person living together in the same dwelling unit with his or her son/daughter.

   Living in the Same Building or on the Same Site

  In the case that the child live in a different household located in the same building of the apartment, or live in a different building located in the same site.

     Living within 5 Minutes Walk

     Living within 15 Minutes(one way)*

     Living at a place of less than 1 Hour away (one way)*

     Living One Hour or more away*

  *"15 minutes (one way) and 1 hour away (one way)" refer to the time required for the transport typically used for commuting.

No Son/Daughter Living in a Different Household

Including no son/daughter.

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