The government recently released new figures related to household income. As of June 2009 there were approximately 48 million households in Japan, each with an average 2.62 members. The average income per household was ¥5.475 million, which is ¥87,000 lower than the average in 2007. Household income in Japan peaked in 1994 at ¥6.642 million.
In terms of an aging society, there were 9.623 million households whose members were either all over 65 or a mix of over 65 and under 18. The average income of these households in 2008 was ¥2.98 million. Overall, 61.5 percent of the households earned below the average income, and 19.4 percent of these earned less than ¥2 million. About 58% of the respondents of a related survey said that “life is difficult,” the first time since 1986 that that answer represented the majority of Japanese.
In a white paper just released by the eduction ministry about the influence of household income on school performance, it seems clear from national test results that students who receive some sort of public educational assistance do worse in school than do students who receive no assistance. In addition, it was found that 31 percent of students from households that earn less than ¥4 million a year go on to university, while 62 percent of students from households that earn more than ¥10 million go to university. Japan’s matriculation rate to university in 2009 was 47 percent. The international average, according to UNESCO, is 51 percent.
Lastly, the advertising company Dentsu recently carried out a survey of one thousand Japanese consumers between the ages of 18 and 69 to find out their feelings about Japan’s future. About 75 percent of the respondents said that “Japan will not get better in the future” in terms of public welfare, education, and public safety. Moreover 50.3 percent say they worry about their old age. When asked what they “want” to do with the money they make, 59.5 percent said they want to “save it for the future.”