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Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

Released on 30 September, 2002

Summary of results of the 2001 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

Results of Survey on Time Use.

 Overview of Survey

The 2001 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities was conducted in October 2001 by the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The purpose of the survey was to study the way in which Japanese citizens used their time and in which leisure activities they participated, in order to get a picture of the way in which they lived their lives and obtain basic information for use in the making of various administrative policies.
The Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities was first conducted in 1976 and has been conducted every five years since then. The 2001 survey was the sixth survey.
The number of the sample households of the survey was approximately 77,000 randomly chosen from the entire population of Japanese households. The actual number of people surveyed was approximately 200,000. These people were the usual household members and were 10 years of age and older.
The results disclosed this time are the results on the distribution of time use.
The results on main activities in free time were released on July 31, 2002.

 Overview of results

Daily time use Looking at the time use of people 15 years old and over (weekly average), compared with 1996, time spent on secondary activities such as work decreased for both males and females by about 20 minutes, and time spent on tertiary activities such as free-time activities increased by 15 minutes or more.
Working time The time spent by males with a job on working was 6 hours 48 minutes and by females with a job 4 hours 51 minutes. Compared with 1996, this is an increase of 12 minutes for males and a decrease of 20 minutes for females.
Time on housework and related work Time spent on housework and related work by males was 33 minutes and by females was 3 hours 45 minutes. Compared with 1996, this is an increase of 6 minutes for males and a decrease of one minute for females.
Husbands and wives Wives who work 35 hours or more per week spent less time on tertiary activities by 1 hour 15 minutes compared to wives who work fewer than 35 hours. The time spent by husbands on tertiary activities was not affected greatly by the number of hours their wives worked.
Elderly Time spent alone by an elderly person of 65 years old and over living in a single-person household was 20 hours 36 minutes a day.
Care-givers The time spent on caring for and nursing was 2 hours 35 minutes, a 25-minute decrease compared to 1996.
Students For study time spent by students in elementary schools (10 years old and over) to universities including graduate schools, the shortest time was 2 hours 59 minutes by students in university, including graduate schools.

 Terminology

Primary activities Activities such as sleeping and eating that are physically necessary.
Secondary activities Activities such as work and housework that are mandatory activities and are required for maintenance of life.
Tertiary activities Activities done while a person has free time and other than the above two categories.

 Summary of results

 1. Daily time use

Overview - Time spent on secondary activities decreased and increased for tertiary activities. An decrease and increase for males in their early 60s is conspicuous.

  • Looking at time use of people of 15 years old and over (weekly average), males spent 10 hours 28 minutes on primary activities, 6 hours 55 minutes on secondary activities, and 6 hours 37 minutes on tertiary activities. Females spent 10 hours 40 minutes, 7 hours 4 minutes and 6 hours 15 minutes respectively.
  • Compared with 1996, for both males and females, the time spent on secondary activities such as work decreased while time spent on tertiary activities, which are free-time activities, increased (See Table 1).
    Broken down by sex and age group, males in their early 60s show the most conspicuous increase and decrease, with a thirty-minute decrease in time spent on secondary activities and an increase of 32 minutes in time spent on tertiary activities.

Table 1 Time Use in One Day (15 years old and over) - Weekly Average

Sleeping time - Decrease on weekdays and Sundays and an increase on Saturdays.

  • Of primary activities, males spent 7 hours 49 minutes sleeping and females 7 hours 35 minutes. Compared with 1996, time spent on sleeping on weekdays and Sundays decreased but increased on Saturdays for both males and females (See Table 2).

Table 2 Sleeping Time by Day of the Week (15 years old and over)

Working hours (1) - Drastic decrease on Saturdays.

  • Of secondary activities, males spent 6 hours 48 minutes working and females 4 hours 51 minutes. Compared with 1996, time spent on working decreased for both males and females and when broken down by day of the week, the time on Saturdays drastically decreased (See Table 3).

Table 3 Working Hours by Day of the Week (Working persons)

Working hours (2) - Males in their late 30s and females in their early 20s spent the longest.

  • When time spent on work is broken down by age group of the employed, the longest time is for males in their late 30s who spent 7 hours 34 minutes, while females in their early 20s spent 5 hours 37 minutes which was the longest (See Figure 1).

Figure 1 Working Hours by Sex and Age Group (Working persons) - Weekly Average

Time on housework and related work - Still a large difference between the sexes.

  • Of secondary activities, males spent 33 minutes and females spent 3 hours 45 minutes on housework and related work (housework, caring and nursing, childcare, and shopping).
    Compared with 1996, time spent by males increased by 6 minutes and by females decreased by 1 minute, but there still is a significant difference between the sexes (See Table 4).
  • When time spent on housework and related work is broken down by day of the week, compared with 1996, the biggest difference is an increase of 13 minutes by males on Saturdays and 7 minutes decrease by females on Sundays (See Table 4).

Table 4 Time Spent on Housework and related work by Marital Status and Day of the Week (15 years old and over)

Free-time activities - Increase of time spent on rest and recreation, and hobbies and amusements.

  • Of tertiary activities, males spent 2 hours 40 minutes and females spent 2 hours 28 minutes on the tertiary activity on which the longest time was spent which was "watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers or magazines", and the second longest time which was on "rest and relaxation" on which males spent 1 hour 18 minutes and females spent 1 hour 20 minutes.
    As for "hobbies or amusements" which was the tertiary activity on which the third longest time was spent, males spent 49 minutes and females spent 35 minutes (See Table 5).
  • Compared with 1996, time spent on hobbies and amusements increased for both males and females by 7 minutes and 5 minutes respectively. Time spent on rest and relaxation increased for both males and females, by 5 minutes for males and 4 minutes for females (See Table 5).

Table 5 Time Spent on Tertiary Activities (15 years old and over) - Weekly Average

2. Time use of husband and wife

Time use of husband and wife - wife working fewer than 35 hours weekly has less free time.

  • In a "household of a couple and their child(ren)" with both husband and wife working, when the time spent on secondary activities is looked at by the weekly working hours of the wife, wives who work fewer than 35 hours spent 8 hours 47 minutes and those who worked 35 hours or more spent 10 hours 5 minutes. Time spent on tertiary activities which are free-time activities was 5 hours 21 minutes and 4 hours 6 minutes respectively. Wives therefore who work 35 hours or more have less free time.
    Time spent by husbands on secondary activities was more or less 8 hours 44 minutes which was about the same regardless of the number of hours of working time of the wife. As time on tertiary activities which are free-time activities, a husband whose wife works fewer than 35 hours spent 5 hours 21 minutes, but a husband whose wife was working 35 hours or more spent 5 hours 16 minutes (See Figure 2).

Figure 2 Time Spent on Activities for Husband and Wife by Weekly Working Hours of Wife (Household of a couple (both employed) and their child(ren) ) - Weekly Average

The elderly(1) - An elderly person in a single-person household spent 20 hours or more alone daily.

  • The time an elderly (65 years old and over) spent alone at home was 14 hours 54 minutes (including 8 hours 30 minutes sleeping). The percentage of elderly people who spent some time with family was 83.7%, and the average time was 8 hours 29 minutes.Of the above, the time an elderly person in a single-person household spends alone daily is quite long at 20 hours 36 minutes (including 8 hours 27 minutes sleeping).The percentage of the elderly people who spent some time with a family member was 15.9%, the average time being 4 hours 53 minutes (See Table 6).

Table 6 Time Use by Company Kept (Elderly persons aged 65 and over) - Weekly Average

 

The elderly(2) - The further away an elderly person in a single-person household lives from his or her children, the more time he or she spends alone.

  • The time elderly people (65 years old and over) spent alone was 19 hours 18 minutes (including 8 hours 36 minutes sleeping) when their children live in the same premises, 20 hours 2 minutes (including 8 hours 30 minutes sleeping) when they live in the neighborhood, 20 hours 45 minutes (8 hours 32 minutes sleeping) when they live in the same city, town, or village, and 20 hours 54 minutes (including 8 hours 28 minutes sleeping) when they live in other areas. Elderly people who live away from their children therefore spend more time alone (See Table 7).

Table 7 Time Use by With/Without Child(ren), Place of Child(ren)'s Dwelling, and Company Kept (Elderly persons aged 65 and over) - Weekly Average

Usual care-giver and nurse for the family - time spent on caring and nursing has decreased by 25 minutes since 1996.

  • The ratio of usual care-giver for a family member in the population of 15 years old and over is 4.4%, an increase of 0.8 percentage points compared to 1996. Broken down by sex, females were 5.4% which is higher than males at 3.3%.
    The actual time spent on caring for family members on the day of survey was 2 hours 35 minutes, a decrease of 25 minutes compared with 1996. Broken down by sex, females spent 2 hours 39 minutes, which is longer than the time males spent which was 2 hours 19 minutes (See Table 8).

Table 8 Time Spent on Caring or Nursing (by persons of 15 years old and over who are the usual care-giver) - Weekly Average

Students (1) - Time spent on study by university students including graduate school students was shorter than time spent on study by elementary school children.

  • Looking at time spent on study by elementary school children (10 years old and over) to university students including graduate school students, for junior high school children spent 5 hours 26 minutes, high school students 5 hours 21 minutes, both of which were long. Junior college and technological college students studied 3 hours 5 minutes, while elementary school children studied 4 hours 41 minutes (10 years old and over). The shortest time therefore spent on study was 2 hours 59 minutes by students in university, including graduate schools.

Students (2) - Time spent on study on no-school Saturdays increased.

  • When time use by primary, junior high, and high school students on no-school Saturdays is compared with 1996, time spent on "watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers or magazines" decreased by 10 to 30 minutes in all schools, while the time on study increased by more or less 15 minutes (See Table 9).

Table 9 Time Use on Saturdays (People attending school) - Non-school Days

3. Time use by geographical area

Sleeping time - Longest in "Tohoku" and shortest in "Southern-Kanto".

  • Looking at time use in 14 geographical areas of Japan, the area with the longest sleeping time was "Tohoku" (7 hours 59 minutes), and the area with the shortest was "Southern-Kanto" (7 hours 38 minutes), the difference being 21 minutes.

Working hours - Long in "Tohoku" and "Hokuriku" and short in "Okinawa".

  • The area where employees people work the longest on weekdays is "Tohoku" and "Hokuriku" (7 hours 38 minutes), and the shortest is "Okinawa" (7 hours 1 minute), the difference being 37 minutes.

"Watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers or magazines" - Long in "Hokkaido" and short in "Southern-Kanto".

  • The area where people spent the longest time in "watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers or magazines" was "Hokkaido" (2 hours 52 minutes) and the shortest time was "Southern-Kanto" (2 hours 23 minutes), the difference being 29 minutes.

Table 10 Prefectures Comprising Geographical Area

Inquiries:

Research and Analysis Section,
Labor Force Statistics Office, Statistical Survey Department,
Statistics Bureau,
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

19-1 Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8668 Japan

TEL: +81-3-5273-1163 (direct) FAX: +81-3-5273-1184

URL: http://www.stat.go.jp/data/shakai/

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