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Home > Statistics > National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure > 2009 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure Overview

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2009 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure Overview

1. Purpose of the Survey

The National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure has been conducted every five years since 1959 for the purpose of investigating family income and expenditure, status of major durable goods, and the dwelling house and land owned, and the total amount of savings and liabilities, thus identifying overall family budget structure and its regional differences from the point of view of income, consumption and assets. This survey is the eleventh in the series.
There is a similar series titled the monthly Family Income and Expenditure Survey, but its main objective is to reveal a movement of average family income and expenditure over time for nation-wide households. The sample size being as small as about 9,000, the monthly survey is not appropriate for making detailed cross section analyses. On the other hand, the present National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure is designed to sample about 57,000 households (including 4,400 one-person households), so that it enables detailed analyses according to various household characteristics such as by income group, household age group, etc. and according to geographic areas such as by region, prefecture, etc., which are beyond a competence of the monthly survey.
Survey items were, as in the past ten surveys, income and expenditures, durable goods possessed, current savings and liabilities which have been taken since the 1969 survey. As mentioned earlier, place of purchase was asked again in another survey, following the one in 1994, which had been included in the surveys from 1964 to 1984.
In the 2009 survey, electronic money, which has been commonly used in recent years, was newly surveyed. In addition, purchase region was also surveyed in this survey, which aims at clarifying the region where households actually purchased goods.

2. Legal Basis

The Survey, Fundamental Statistics stipulated by the Statistics Act (Act No.53, 2007), was undertaken in accordance with the National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure Regulation (Prime Minister's Office Ordinance No.23, April 20, 1984).

3. Period of the Survey

For households with two or more household members, the survey was carried out for the period of three months from September to November 2009 and for one-person households for the period of two months from October to November of the same year.

4. Households to be Surveyed

The households to be surveyed were the ones selected by the method designated by the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications for all the households in the whole country, and the survey was undertaken separately for two-or-more-person households and one-person households.
Following households were excluded from the target of the survey, because of the difficulty of measuring correctly the income and expenditures as a household.

(1) For two-or-more-person households
a. Households running restaurants or inns on the same premise;
b. Households running boarding houses, or households with boarders;
c. Households with four or more live-in employees; and
d. Foreigners' households.

(2) For one-person households
a. Persons under 15 years of age;
b. One-person households corresponding to a), b) and d) of (1) above;
c. One-person households residing with live-in employees;
d. Students;
e. Inmates of social and reform institutions; and
f. Inpatients in hospitals and sanatoriums.

5. Selection of Sample Households

Households were selected separately for two-or-more-person households and one-person households.

(1) For two-or-more-person households
a. Selection of sample cities, towns and villages
All of 784 cities existing as of 1st January 2009 were surveyed, while for towns and villages surveyed were 219 selected from 998 as of 1st January 2009.
b. Selection of unit areas
Within the selected cities, towns and villages, 4,367 unit areas (one unit area is consisted of two contiguous Enumeration Districts of the 2005 Population Census) were selected.
c. Selection of sample households
Within each selected unit area, twelve households were systematically sampled, totaling to 52,404.

(2) For one-person households
a. Selection of unit areas
Unit areas were sampled from among those selected for two-or-more-person households.
b. Selection of sample households
4,402 one-person households were selected.

6. Survey Items

Following items were surveyed.

(1) Items related to household income and expenditures
Income was asked only for workers' households and households whose head has no occupation, with respect to its value and sources as well as the amount deducted (taxes, social insurance premiums, etc.) and its sources. Also asked were income in kind by its way of acquisition, commodity and estimated market value for each item.
Expenditures were asked for all households with respect to individual commodities, purpose and the amount spent separately for cash payment, automatic transfer account, electronic money, and credit cards, monthly installments or on credit.

(2) Items related to region for purchasing goods
Region for purchasing goods (excluding mail-order selling) was surveyed by the region that based on present residence; residentiary municipality, other municipality (in residentiary prefecture), other municipality (in other prefecture). These items were asked only in November.

(3) Items related to type of outlets for purchasing goods
Outlets for purchasing goods (excluding charges for services) were surveyed according to the characteristics of stores; retail stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, cooperative stores, discount stores, mass sales specialty stores, mail-order selling (internet), mail-order selling (others). These items were asked only in November.

(4) Items related to major durable goods
The Survey questioned households about the volume of ownership of about 40 types of durable goods, including furniture, coolers and heaters, household equipment, reading and hobby related equipment, and motor vehicles. For about 20 of these items, it also asked about the time of acquisition (i.e., less than one year ago, from one to five years ago, and more than five years ago).

(5) Items related to yearly income and balance of savings and liabilities
Yearly income and its type were asked for household head, his (her) spouse and other household members (separately for those aged 65 and over and those under 65) covering past one year from December 2008 to November 2009.
As for savings, surveyed were balances of deposits (postal deposits, bank deposits, company-managing deposits, etc.) and life insurance, etc. premiums paid and current values of stocks, trusts and shares as of the end of November 2009 by each type. Regarding individual proprietors, savings included not only those for household purposes but also for business purposes.
As for liabilities, surveyed were balances of monthly and yearly installments, for the purchases of dwelling houses and land, construction, reconstruction and extension of buildings, and others at the end of November 2009.

(6) Items related to households and household members
In the aspect of household members, the survey asked about name, relationship to the household head, sex, age, and whether working or not. For those who were employed, the questions on industry, and occupation were asked. For household members who were students, the questions on the kind of school were asked.
In addition, the Survey asked some questions about the reason for the absence of family members not in the households, whether the households have elderly accredited as persons in need of nursing cares or not, and the places of residence of the children of the household heads. In the case of one-person households, it asked about the type of the households (corporate employee posted away from his or her family, person working seasonally away home, etc.).

(7) Items related to housing and housing lots other than the present residence
Concerning the present residence, the Survey asked about structure, total floor spaces, type of building, the ownership status, facilities, presence or absence of land revenue (for owned houses), area of land (for owned houses), year of construction (for owned houses), and year of entry (except for owned houses). Concerning houses and housing lots other than that of the present residence, the use, year of construction, total floor spaces, structure, location, and space of dwelling were surveyed.

Questionnaire types Survey items Survey periods
Households of two or more people One-person households
Household accounts A

Income (workers’ and unemployed households)

Two-months period: from October to November One-month period: October
Household accounts B

Income (workers’ and unemployed households)


Purchase region

Purchase points
One-month period: November
Household questionnaire Items related to household, number of household members, housing, and residential area As of September 1 As of October 1
Consumer durables questionnaire Items related to major durable goods (40 categories) As of end of October
Annual income, savings questionnaire Items related to annual income, current savings balance, and current debt balance As of end of November


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