Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau
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Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities



The purpose of the survey is to obtain comprehensive data on how people allocate time to various activities, and on their leisure activities in the past year such as sports, studies and research, hobbies and amusements, social activities, travel and excursion. It is designed to make clear the quality of life and the status of non-economic activities such as the unpaid work or voluntary activities.

Origin of the Survey

This survey was first conducted in 1976. Since then, it has carried out every five years, and the fifth survey was conducted on October 1, 1996.

Reference Day

The 1996 survey's reference day was October 1, 1996. And as for time use survey, two straight days within the nine-day period from September 28 (Saturday) to October 6 (Sunday) were designated beforehand in order to investigate time allocation by day of the week.


About 99,000 households were selected throughout the nation and about 270,000 members of the households aged 10 or more were surveyed.

Items Surveyed

The following items were surveyed.

Time use survey

  • Diary for a two day period

Leisure activities during the past 12 months

  • Sports
  • Studies and research
  • Hobbies and amusements
  • Social activities
  • Travel and excursion

Personal attributes

For all household members from age 10 up

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Relationship to the household head
  • Birth year and month
  • Marital status
  • Education

For all household members from age 15 up

  • Usual economic activity
  • Employment status
  • Occupation
  • Number of persons engaged in enterprise as a whole
  • Weekly working hours
  • Usual commuting time to work place
  • Regular holidays in a week
  • Consecutive holidays, including Sundays and public holidays
    For all household members from age 65 up
  • Place in which their own children live

Household attributes

  • Kind of household
  • Kind of dwelling
  • Number of dwelling rooms
  • Possession of automobiles
  • Annual income
  • Absent members of household
  • Name, relationship to the household head, birth year and month, and education, for persons under 10 years old

Survey Method

A self-enumeration method is used and each questionnaire is to be filled in by each household member. As for time use survey, the respondents are to classify their daily activities into 20 classifications by themselves.

Publication of Reports

The series of the 1996 survey reports will be issued in 1998. 



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