Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau


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Outline of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey

1. Universe

  The survey unit is the household in the entire area of Japan. The following households are, however, excluded as inappropriate households.

a. one-person student households
b. Inpatients in hospitals, inmates of reformatory institutions, etc
c. Households which manage restaurants, hotels, boarding houses or dormitories, sharing their dwellings
d. Households which serve meals to the boarders even though not managing boarding houses as an occupation
e. Households with 4 or more living-in employees
f. Households whose heads are absent for a long time(three months or more)
g. Foreigner households

2. Design of the Survey

  The sample households are selected based on the three-stage stratified sampling method. The sampling units at three stages are namely, primarily the municipality (i.e. city, town and village), secondly the survey unit area and thirdly the household.
  The entire land of Japan is stratified into 168 strata according to the following criteria.
a. Each of the capital cities of prefectures and major cities except capital cities of prefectures is made to be a stratum.
b. Middle cities and small cities A are subdivided according to the following criteria to form 74 strata.

  • Ratios of densely inhabited district population
  • Population change rates from 2005 to 2010
  • City pattern by major industry
  • Composition of age of household head

  Small cities B, towns and villages are also subdivided to 42 strata according to the geographical characteristics and composition of age of household head.

Number of Households Surveyed
City groups Number of cities, towns and villages surveyed Number of two-or-more-person households Number of one-person households
All Japan 168 8,076 745
Cities with population of 50,000 or more 126 7,572 631
  Ku-areas of Tokyo 1 408 34
  Designated cities under article 252-19 of the Local Autonomy Act 20 2,016 168
  Cities with prefectural governments *Note 31 3,048 254
  Other cities 74 2,100 175
Cities with population of less than 50,000, towns and villages 42 504 42
Dormitories(One-person households) 11 - 72

Note: excluding Ku-areas of Tokyo and Designed cities under article 252-19 of the Local Autonomy Act

  Each survey unit is composed of two enumeration districts of the 2010 Population Census.
  Each enumerator takes charge of two unit areas and makes the list of all households in the unit areas. Supervisor randomly selects six sample households from two-or-more-person households in the list, and one sample household from one-person households in the list of one of the two unit areas alternately.
  Each unit area is surveyed for a year, and after that the unit area is replaced by another within the same block. Two-or-more-person households are surveyed for six months and one-person households for three months and are replaced by a new one. The ratio of replacement is kept constant every month, and thus one sixth of the sample is monthly renewed.
  As to one-person dwelling in dormitories, six households are selected randomly from each unit area quarterly and surveyed for three months.

3. Collection of Data

  Data are obtained in four kinds of questionnaires, namely, Household Schedule, Family Account Book, Yearly Income Schedule and Savings Schedule. Enumerators fill in the Household Schedule with the number of household members, occupation and industry of earners, type of the dwelling, etc. Households are requested to fill in the Family Account Books with daily incomes and expenditures. For workers' households and households of the head not working, both incomes and expenditures in cash and in kind are recorded, while for other households cash payment and consumption in kind only. In addition, two-or-more-person households are also requested to fill the Savings Schedule with amounts of savings and liabilities held and plans to purchase houses or land.
  Family Account Book, Yearly Income Schedule and Savings Schedule are filled by household themselves, and Household Schedule is completed by enumerators through interview.

4. Publication of Results

  The income and expenditure data of Two-or-more-person households thus obtained are tabulated into average monthly receipts and disbursements per households by districts, yearly income groups etc.
  (1) The preliminary report of Two-or-more-person households (including agricultural,forestry and fisheries households) are monthly published one month after the survey.
  (2) The "Monthly Report on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey" is published two months after the survey in the web site.
  (3) The "Annual Report on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey" is published in June of the following year.
  In addition, the following data are published quarterly:
  (a)Income and expenditure of "one-person households"and those of "total households (one-person households and two-or-more-person households)" ;
  (b)Savings and liabilites of "two-or-more-person households."

5. History

  After World War II, the Consumer Price Survey (CPS) was initiated in July 1946, which monthly collected the expenditures and amounts of purchases item by item, as well as the purchase prices. Since this survey only provided the outflow of money in the household economy and lacked the data on income, the Family Income Survey (FIS) was introduced in 1948, in which only income data were surveyed independently of the CPS.
  In September 1950, the CPS and the FIS were combined into one survey under the name of Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), which is the original form of the present survey.
  In July 1962 the coverage of the Survey, which formerly covered all the urban areas, was extended to include the entire area of Japan. The sampling design was totally changed at the same time with a transitional period until the end of 1962. The size of sample increased from about 4,200 households out of 28 cities to about 8,000 out of 170 municipalities.
  In July 1972, following the reversion of Okinawa to Japan, Okinawa was included in the Survey, but they were independently tabulated until the end of the year.
  Since the enlargement of the Survey, minor revisions in stratification and sampling were made according to the results of the Population Censuses, and thus the present sampling scheme was established.
  Since January 1981, a new classification of income and expenditure has been applied to the monthly results. The new classification has been introduced also to the annual result of 1980.
  Because the five major groups previously used are replaced by the ten major groups of the new classification, the data are not comparable in some breakdowns. To make possible the uses of the FIES results over a longer period, major monthly results from January 1970 to December 1980 have been recalculated according to the new classification. In addition, major annual results from 1963 to 1969 have also been recalculated. These results are published in "Family Income and Expenditure Survey (1963-1980)".
  In July 1999, agricultural, forestry and fisheries households were included in the Survey, and the result for households including agricultural, forestry and fisheries households was started to publish in January 2000.
  In January 2002, the size of sample was extended from about 8,000 excluding one-person households to about 9,000 households including one-person households and the method of the Survey on two-or-more-person households was revised as followings. The survey on quantity of foods was shortened from 6 months to the first month of the survey period, and Savings Schedule was newly introduced to inquire the amount of savings and liabilities held and plans to purchase houses and land. With the FIES revision, Survey for One-person Households and Family Savings Survey were abolished.

6. Legal Basis

  The FIES is designated as important statistics compiled by the government (Fundamental Statistics). It is carried out in accordance with the Family Income and Expenditure Survey Regulation (Prime Minister's Office Ordinance No.71 of November 12, 1975) issued on the basis of the Statistics Act.

7. Remark

  For further details, refer to an Annual Report on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey.


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