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Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

Released on 31 July, 2002

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

Results of Survey on Leisure Activities

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 about the main activities on which Japanese people spend their free time (such as Internet use, volunteer activities, travel and excursion, studies and researches, sports, and hobbies and amusements).
The results of the time distribution survey will be disclosed in late September 2002.

Overview of results

Internet

 

The number of "Internet" users was 52,450,000 people, and the user rate was 46.4%. Of these, there were 28,360,000 males (user rate of 51.5%) and 24,090,000 females (user rate of 41.5%).
Volunteer activities The number of participants in "volunteer activities" was 32,630,000. The participation rate was 28.9%. Compared to 1996, there was an increase of 3.6 percentage points. The age group with highest participation was females in their late 30s (42.6%) to early 40s (43.3%).
Travel and excursion The number of participants in "travel or excursion" was 91,440,000. The participation rate was 80.9%. Compared to 1996, there was a decrease of 1.9 percentage points. The largest decrease in participation was seen in the early 50s age group (4.0 percentage points).
Studies and researches The number of participants in "studies or researches" was 40,940,000. The participation rate was 36.2%. Compared to 1996, there was an increase of 5.6 percentage points. A high participation rate of around 50% was seen in young people, both male and female.
Sports The number of participants in "sports" was 81,630,000. The participation rate was 72.2%. Compared to 1996, there was a decrease of 3.8 percentage points. An increase in participation was seen in jogging or marathon.
Hobbies and amusements The number of participants in "hobbies or amusements" was 97,200,000. The participation rate was 85.9%. Compared to 1996, there was a decrease of 4.6 percentage points. The highest participation rate was seen in "reading books as hobbies" (45.5%).

Terminology

Number of participants (number of users) The number of people (10 years old and over) who did (used) the relevant type of activity within one year previous to October 2001.
Participation rate (user rate) Ratio (%) of the number of participants (users) against the population of 10 years old and over.
Average number of days of participation Average number of participation days in the past one year per participant.

Summary of results

1. Internet

Approximately 50% of males and approximately 40% of females used the Internet.

  • In the past one year, approximately 52,450,000 people (10 years old and over) used the Internet. The user rate was 46.4%. Broken down by sex, 51.5% of males used the "Internet" and 41.5% of females did. The male user rate was therefore 10 percentage points higher than female.
  • In the younger generation of less than 30 years old, the female user rate of the "Internet" was higher than male, but the male user rate was higher than female in each age group from 30 years old and over (See Figure 1).

Figure 1 "Internet" User Rate by Sex and Age Group

Approximately 40% of people use the Internet for "exchanging information" and approximately 10% of people use it for "reserving or buying goods or services, making payments".

  • When the "Internet" user rate is broken down by type of use, 39.5% of people used it for "exchanging information" such as by e-mail, 32.4% people used it for "collecting information" such as viewing Web sites, and 5.6% people used it for "sending information" such as creating Web sites.

    Also, 10.1% of people used the "Internet" for "reserving or buying goods or services, making payments" (See Figure 2).

Nearly half of those who used the "Internet" for "exchanging information" used it for 200 days or more per year.

  • When annual "Internet" usage frequency is broken down by type of use, the rate of people who use it 200 days or more is 47.8% for "exchanging information" which is nearly one half, and the rate peaks at 63.9% in the population of late teenagers.

Figure 2 "Internet" User Rate by Type of Use

2. Volunteer activities

Nearly 30% of people participated in "volunteer activities". Among the activities, the highest participation rate was for "local improvement activities".

  • Approximately 32,630,000 people participated in some form of "volunteer activities", and the participation rate was 28.9%. Compared with 1996, there was an increase in all age groups, with a particularly sharp increase in the age groups up to the early 20s (See Figure 3).
  • When the participation rate in "volunteer activities" is broken down by sex, the male participation rate was 27.0% and the female participation rate was 30.6%. The female participation rate was therefore higher. With regard to type of activity, the highest participation was in "local improvement activities" at 14.0%.

Figure 3 Participation Rate in "Volunteer activities" by Age Group - 1996 and 2001

The participation rate of females in their late 30s to early 40s was the highest.

  • When the participation rate in "volunteer activities" is classified by age group, the highest is for females in their late 30s (42.6%) and females in their early 40s (43.3%). In each age group up to the early 60s, females show a higher participation rate than males.

The participation rate in "volunteer activities" is high in towns and villages while the average number of days of participation is higher in large cities.

  • When the participation rate in "volunteer activities" is broken down by city group, in most types of volunteer activities, the smaller the population is, the higher the participation rate, with towns and villages being the highest.
    On the other hand, the average number of days of participation becomes greater the larger the population. The highest is for therefore for large cities with a population of 1 million or more (See Figure 4).

Figure 4 Participation Rate and Average Number of Days of Participation in "Local improvement activities" by City Group

3. Travel and excursion

Approximately 70% of people participated in "travel".

  • In the past year, approximately 91,440,000 people participated in "travel or excursion" and the participation rate was 80.9%. Of this, the participation rate in "excursion (day trip)" was 65.6% while the participation rate in "travel (involving at least one overnight stay)" was 68.7%.

The participation rate in "travel or excursion" by people in their 20s and older decreased.

  • Compared with 1996, in each age group from the 20s and older, the participation fell. The largest drop in participation rate was for people in their early 50s with a decrease of 4.0 percentage points (See Figure 5).

One out of five females in their 20s went overseas on a sightseeing trip.

  • Compared with 1996, the participation rate in "sightseeing trip" within Japan was 54.5%, lower by 2.3 percentage points.
  • The participation rate in "sightseeing trip" outside Japan (overseas) was 10.0%. The decrease therefore was kept to within 0.4 percentage points.
    The participation rate of females in their 20s in "sightseeing trip" outside Japan was high, with one out of five females participating (See Figure 6).

Figure 5 Participation Rate in "Travel or excursion" by Age Group - 1996 and 2001
Figure 6 Participation Rate in "Sightseeing" Trip by Sex and Age Group - 1996 and 2001

4. Studies and researches

Male participation rate was high in "computing etc." and female participation rate was high in "home economics or housework".

  • The participation rate in "studies or researches" was 36.2%, the same for both males and females.
    When the participation rate of "studies or researches" is broken down by sex, the highest for males was "computing etc." (19.2%), followed by "commerce and business" (10.9%), and then by "humanities, social or natural science" (10.7%). The highest participation rate for females was "home economics or housework" (14.2%), followed by "computing etc." (12.8%), and then by "arts and culture" (11.2%) (See Figure 7).

Figure 7 Participation Rate in "Studies or researches" by Sex and Type of Study or Research - 1996 and 2001

5. Sports

70% or more of people participated in "sports".

  • In the past year, approximately 81,630,000 people participated in some kind of "sports" and the participation rate was 72.2%. The sports showing a high participation rate are "taking a walk as a sport, light gymnastics " (42.6%), "bowling" (23.1%), and "swimming" (19.8%).

The participation rate of young people in particular decreased.

  • Compared with 1996, the participation rate in "sports" decreased by 3.8 percentage points. Broken down by age group, the participation rate in each age group of people in their 50s and younger decreased, and in particular a conspicuous decrease was seen in all age group of people in their 30s and younger. On the other hand, the older generation of people in their 60s and older shows, although only a slight, an increase in the participation rate (See Figure 8).

Participation rate increased in "jogging, marathon".

  • When the participation rate in "sports" is compared with 1996 by type of sports, the participation rate in "jogging, marathon" keeps increasing, while in "bowling", "softball" and "skiing, snowboarding" it is decreasing (See Figure 9).

Figure 8 Participation Rate in "Sports" by Age Group - 1996 and 2001

Figure 9 Participation Rate in "Sports" by Type of Sport - 1996 and 2001

6. Hobbies and amusements

"Playing home use video games" is popular among teens and "gardening" is popular among people in their 50s and older.

  • The number of participants in "hobbies or amusements" was approximately 97,200,000 and the participation rate was 85.9%. The activities with a high participation rate are "reading books as hobbies" (45.5%), "karaoke" (39.1%), and "watching movies" (35.8%).
  • When the participation rate in "hobbies or amusements" is broken down by age group, a high participation rate is seen among teenagers in "playing home use video games" and "watching movies", among people in their 20s in "karaoke" and "watching movies", in people in their 30s and 40s in "reading books as hobbies" and "karaoke" and among people in their 50s and older in "gardening" and "reading books as hobbies" (See Table 1).

Table 1 Order of Participation Rate in "Hobbies or amusements" by Age Group and Type Thereof

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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