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2006 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

Outline of the 2006 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

  The Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities aims to obtain comprehensive data on daily patterns of time allocation and on leisure activities. The survey was first carried out in 1976, and has been conducted every five years.
  The seventh Survey was conducted in 2006.

  This survey provides statistics that are not obtainable from other surveys, all of which focus almost exclusively on economic aspects of living. These statistics make it possible to observe the lifestyles of various groups and preferences for certain activities over others, and to improve the interpretation and the understanding of various social and economic phenomena. This survey also provides important background information on economic conditions.

  The 2006 Survey provides basic data to assist the formulation of policy aimed at maintaining a vital aging society, improving the childcare environment, facilitating gender equality, using information and communication technology in daily life, etc., taking the current social background (e.g., aging society with fewer children, advances in information and communication technology, and diversification of lifestyles) into account.

1. Reference date

  The reference date for the 2006 Survey is October 20 for the basic characteristics of persons and households. For data on time use, however, reference dates are selected from several days including the reference date, because the pattern of time use varies according to the day of the week.

  For this purpose, the sample of the 2006 Survey is divided into several sub-samples, and the respondents for each sub-sample are asked to report their time use on two consecutive days during the period from 14 to 22 October.

2. Sampling

  The sample is selected through a two-stage stratified sampling method, with the primary sampling unit being the enumeration district (ED) of the Population Census, and the secondary sampling unit being the household.

  First, the whole country is divided into the regions of 47 prefectures, and a total of 6,700 sample EDs are selected in those regions. In the selected EDs, around 80,000 households are selected from lists of households prepared by enumerators before the survey. All persons aged 10 and over in the sample households are asked to respond to the survey. The number of these persons totals around 200,000.Foreigners living in Japan are included in the survey.

3. Survey organization

  The survey is conducted through the following channel:
Statistics Bureau - Prefectures -Enumerators - Households

4. Survey method

  Enumerators deliver the questionnaires to each household to be surveyed, collect the completed questionnaires, and interview the households as necessary.

  The questionnaires are completed by household members 10 years old and over, or by the head of the household, as well as by answering questions from the enumerators.


Enumerators for the Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities are local public service personnel in the special public service appointed by the governor of the administrative unit of to, do, fu or ken, and have a duty to preserve confidentiality.
Enumerators for the Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities must carry an "enumerator identification card", so please identify the enumerator by checking her/his identification card.

5. Survey items

  The topics covered by the 2006 Survey are as follows.

  • Time use over a single day
  • Participation in leisure activities during the past year
  • Frequency of participation in leisure activities during the past year

  For time use during a single day, two questionnaires are used: Questionnaire A adopts a pre-coding method, while Questionnaire B is designed to elucidate time use in more detail (diary method or after-coding method). Questionnaire A is used for around 6,350 of 6,700 EDs, and Questionnaire B for the remaining 350 EDs.

  Several characteristics of individuals and households are also identified.

  To obtain data on time use for each day, schedules for recording time use for each quarter hour are distributed to the respondents. The schedules completed by respondents are collected by the enumerators, along with other questionnaires on participation in leisure activities.

 6. Questionnaire (2006 survey)

Difference in time use chart between Questionnaire A and Questionnaire B

7. Publication

  A report with the 2006 Survey results was published in 2007.

(a) Report by Questionnaire A

  • Time Use for Japan
  • Leisure Activities for Japan
  • Time Use for Prefectures
  • Leisure Activities for Prefectures
  • Activities by Time of Day for Japan and by Prefectures
  • Average Time of Main Activities for Japan and by Prefectures
  • Summary Results and Analyses, etc

(b) Report by Questionnaire B

  • Time Use for Japan by Detailed Activity Coding, etc

Personal information is protected.

  Questionnaires (personal information) collected in statistical surveys are used only for producing statistics in which the respondents remain unidentified.

  •   Rules governing the obligation to respond to any designated statistical survey and the protection of privacy are strictly prescribed by under the Statistics Law.
  •   There are no exceptions under the Act on the Protection of Personal Information to the obligation to respond to a designated statistical survey conducted in accordance with the Statistics Law.


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