Lifestyles of the Japanese (2007 version): part 1 of 3


How fulfilled do you feel in your daily life? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office Japan recently released the results of a survey they conducted into citizens’ lifestyles. I translated a survey on the same topic conducted two years ago, which may be useful as a cross-reference. See also part 1 of the survey from 2005.


Between the 5th and 22nd of July 2007 10,000 members of the public were randomly selected from presumably the electoral rolls. Of that number, 6,086 people actually took part in the survey, conducted by means of face-to-face interviews. The sample was 53.2% female, 9.1% in their twenties, 14.5% in their thirties, 15.4% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.7% in their sixties, 15.2% in their seventies, and 4.5% aged eighty or older. In addition, 8.7% lived alone, 24.4% with a spouse, 48.9% in a nuclear household, 15.6% with grandparents or grandchildren, 0.7% in other types of family environment, and 1.7% in other non-family-based living arrangements. 73.7% were married, 12.1% divorced or widowed, 14.0% unmarried, and 0.2% did not answer. 80.2% lived in an owned house, 2.5% in an owned apartment, 3.9% in a rented home, 10.8% in a rented apartment, 0.3% in a company house, 1.6% in a company apartment, 0.4% in other arrangements, and 0.1% didn’t know where they lived. Finally, 27.2% were daily internet browsers at home or work, 16.5% were occasional browsers, 6.8% just used email, and 49.1% barely used it at all, with 0.4% don’t knows.

There seems a high level of general satisfaction with their current lifestyles, which goes against the typical foreigner’s (or perhaps I hang out in the wrong neighbourhood?) perception of the miserable wage slave slogging his life away on pointless work. Perhaps the true answer is a mix of the two images; or perhaps it is my bias, the average worker is accepting of his lot.

Research results

Q1: Compared with this time last year, how is your home life? (Sample size=6,086)

About the same70.3%
Got worse24.5%
Don’t know0.4%

Q2: Overall, how satisfied are you with your current lifestyle? (Sample size=6,086)

Somewhat satisfied54.4%
Somewhat dissatisfied26.6%
Neither satisified nor dissatisfied1.0%
Don’t know0.3%

These two sets of figures above are little changed from two years ago.

Q3: In each of the following aspects of your lifestyle, how satisfied are you? (Sample size=6,086)

Q3A: Income, salary

Somewhat satisfied36.3%
Somewhat dissatisfied36.8%
Neither satisified nor dissatisfied1.5%
Don’t know0.6%

Q3B: Savings

Somewhat satisfied31.5%
Somewhat dissatisfied38.9%
Neither satisified nor dissatisfied2.1%
Don’t know1.3%

Q3C: Car, electrical goods, furniture and other durable consumer goods

Somewhat satisfied57.3%
Somewhat dissatisfied21.4%
Neither satisified nor dissatisfied1.8%
Don’t know0.9%

Q3D: Home life

Somewhat satisfied54.5%
Somewhat dissatisfied18.8%
Neither satisified nor dissatisfied0.7%
Don’t know0.4%

Q3E: Leisure, free time activities

Somewhat satisfied45.5%
Somewhat dissatisfied27.4%
Neither satisified nor dissatisfied2.5%
Don’t know1.0%

Again, none of the figures above changed much more than one percentage point when compared with two years ago.

Q4: How fulfilled do you feel in your daily life? (Sample size=6,086)

Sufficiently fulfilled (to SQ)9.5%
Reasonably fulfilled (to SQ)58.8%
A bit unfulfilled (to SQ)24.3%
Not at all fulfilled5.7%
Neither fulfilled nor unfulfilled (to SQ)1.1%
Don’t know0.5%

Q4SQ: In your daily life, which of the following do you usually feel fulfilled in? (Sample size=5,707, multiple answer)

When in the harmonious family circle47.9%
When leisurely taking a break41.9%
When gathering and chatting with friends and acquaintances41.5%
When zealously engaged in hobbies or sports41.3%
When immersed in work30.9%
When devoted to study12.1%
When doing voluntary work or community activities7.9%
Don’t know1.5%

This time there was a couple of percentage points increase in the number of people feeling fulfilled in their daily lives, and each of the categories in Q4SQ were up a couple of percentage points from two years ago.

Q5: In your daily life, do you feel uneasy or troubled? (Sample size=6,086)

Feel uneasy or troubled (to SQ)69.5%
Don’t feel uneasy or troubled29.6%
Don’t know0.9%

Q5SQ: In your daily life, what do you feel uneasy or troubled about? (Sample size=4,229, multiple answer)

Planning for old age53.7%
My health48.3%
Family’s health39.8%
Prospects regarding future income or savings39.0%
Current income or savings29.6%
Problems in family member’s life, eg education, work, marriage25.1%
Problems in personal life, eg education, work, marriage14.6%
Workplace issues such as tasks, interpersonal relationships12.1%
Relationships amongst family or relatives10.3%
Home or work management issues7.9%
Neighbours or neighbourhood related5.9%
Don’t know0.1%

Here there is also an increase in the number of people feeling troubled. Perhaps due to the recent pensions fiasco, over 10% more people were worried about their old age than two years ago. All other categories were also higher than two years ago, with an average increase of perhaps 2 percentage points.

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  1. February 8, 2012 @ 00:38

    […] they conducted into citizens’ lifestyles. I translated a survey on the same topic in 2009, 2007, and 2005, if you wish to […]

  2. February 9, 2012 @ 00:59

    […] they conducted into citizens’ lifestyles. I translated a survey on the same topic in 2009, 2007, and 2005, if you wish to […]