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Home > Statistics Data> Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities>Outline of the 2016 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

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Outline of the 2016 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 has been conducted every five years since 1976, and the 2016 survey is the ninth.

  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 2016 Survey provides basic data to assist the formulation of policy aimed at promoting better work-life balance, maintaining a vital aging society, improving the childcare environment, facilitating gender equality, etc., taking the current social background (e.g., aging society with fewer children, and diversification of lifestyles) into account.

1. Reference date

  The reference date for the 2016 Survey is October 20 for the basic characteristics of persons and households.However, as for the survey on time allocation, two straight days within the nine-day period from October 15 to 23 are designated for each enumeration district(ED).

2. Survey Sample

  The survey is carried out in about 7,300 EDs that are selected.

  About 88,000 households in the EDs are selected and about 200,000 household members 10 years old and over are surveyed.

  However, the following are excluded from the survey samples.

  • Foreign diplomatic and consular corps (including their family or party members)
  • Foreign military personnel and civilian employee (including their family)
  • The Self-Defense Force personnel living in barracks or vessels
  • Sentenced prisoners or persons in reformatories
  • Persons living in social welfare facilities
  • Inpatients of hospitals or clinics
  • Persons living on the water


Some sample EDs in Kumamoto Prefecture were excluded from the survey, because those EDs were devastated by the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake that occurred in April 2016.

3. Sampling method

  The sample is selected through a two-stage stratified sampling method, with the primary sampling unit being the 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 about 7,300 sample EDs are selected in those regions. In the selected EDs, about 88,000 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 about 200,000. Foreigners living in Japan are included in the survey.

4. Survey organization

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

5. 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.

  Online response is also possible for the 2016 survey.


  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.

6. Survey items

  The topics covered by the 2016 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 (after-coding method). Questionnaire A is used for around 6,912 of 7,320 EDs, and Questionnaire B for the remaining 408 EDs.

7. Questionnaire (2016 survey)

8. Publication

  The 2016 Survey results will be release sequentially after July, 2017.

  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 Fundamental 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 Fundamental Statistical Survey conducted in accordance with the Statistics Law.

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