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National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

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About Institute

Annual Population and Social Security Surveys
The National Fertility Survey
Since 1940, the National Fertility Survey has been conducted every 5 years to investigate the situation and issues of marriage, childbirth and child-rearing in Japan. The survey is carried out separately for both married couples and unmarried individuals, exploring policy-related issues from the perspective of social science. Japan continues to experience declining fertility rates, which leads to population decline and population aging as well as other changes in people’s lives. In the coming years, these changes will have a major influence on Japanese society. One of the important themes of the survey is to understand the mechanisms of fertility change and its underlying causes.
The results of the survey are used in various academic research initiatives and policy planning, such as setting fertility assumptions for Population Projections for Japan, evaluating the policy targets of the Basic Plan for Gender Equality (e.g. the proportion of continuous employment after the 1st birth, 55%, 2010), and for many other official reports (e.g. Annual Health, Labour and Welfare Report, White Paper on Gender Equality, Declining Birthrate White Paper), in addition to governmental policy committee documents.
The figure below-left shows that the percentage of continuous employment of women after giving birth to a first child regardless of the utilization of parental leave has grown to 26.8%, about one fourth of the total for 2005-09. On the contrary, the figure below-right shows that the ideal number of children of both unmarried people and married couples has been declining recently, although they have been higher than the intended number of children.
●Changes in employment status of wives before and after giving birth to their first child, by year of birth of first child
Changes in employment status of wives before and after 
giving birth to their first child, by year of birth of first 
child
●Changes in the average ideal and intended number of children, by survey
Changes in the average ideal and intended number of 
children, by survey
The National Survey on Migration
The National Survey on Migration is conducted to observe trends in the geographic mobility of the people living in Japan, and to obtain fundamental data for prospects of future migration patterns. The quinquennial survey provides detailed data on individual migration experience that is not obtained from other governmental statistics such as the Population Census and registration-based migration statistics. The survey consists of retrospective questions on place of residence at major life events (e.g., birth, completion of school, first job, marriage, and so on) as well as that of 1 and 5 years earlier, the prefectures in which the respondents have lived (including foreign countries), and prospects of residence 5 years ahead. The results of the survey are used in formulating relevant policies and regional population projections in Japan.
●Prospects for migration in the next 5 years (2006) and migration over the last 5 years (2011)
Prospects for migration in the next 5 years (2006) and 
migration over the last 5 years (2011)
●Geographical range of migra0on experience (2011)
Geographical range of migra0on experience (2011)
The National Survey on Social Security and People's Life
Japanese society is undergoing population ageing and changes in household structures at an unprecedented speed. In order to maintain the long-term sustainability of our social security system, it is necessary to implement a series of reforms while also keeping in mind a delicate balance of self-help, mutual-help (by family members) and public help. The National Survey on Social Security and People’s Life is conducted to understand the challenges people face regarding their living conditions, and how they cope with them by supporting each other – through family members and within communities.
●Ratio (%) who responded that their living standard is “Harsh” or “Very Harsh,” by sex, age and work status
Especially among men in their 30’s to 60’s who are not working, the ratio responding “Harsh” or “Very Harsh” is very high.
Ratio (%) who responded that their living standard is 
“Harsh” or “Very Harsh,” by sex, age and work status
●Frequency of Conversation: by Household (hh) type (Persons aged 65 and above)
Among elderly persons aged 65 and above, most have conversations with someone at least every day. However, among elderly men who live in single-person households, 16.7% have conversation less than once in two weeks.
Frequency of Conversation: by Household (hh) type 
(Persons aged 65 and above)
The National Survey on Family
Accompanied by low fertility rates and population aging, the functions of Japanese families have undergone significant transformation, in addition to such changes as the increase in dual income households. The National Survey on Family attempts to capture the changes in family functions, such as the bearing and rearing of children, supporting and nursing elderly parents, and so on. The survey results are used as valuable materials for various political and administrative uses.
●Percentage of child-rearing assumed by wife and husband’s child-rearing participation score by age of youngest child
The figure shows that households depending heavily on wives for child-rearing account for between 70% and 80% of all cases, and that husbands perform each of the 6 child-rearing tasks on average once or twice a week.
Percentage of child-rearing assumed by wife and husband’s child-rearing participation score by age of youngest child
The husband’s child-rearing participation score was computed by first assigning for each task a score of 1 if a husband performs the task “once or twice a month,” 2 for “once or twice a week,” 3 for “three to four times a week,” 4 for “every day, each time,” and 0 for “never”, and then totalling the scores across 6 tasks (playing with children, bathing children, feeding children, putting children to sleep, changing diapers and soothing crying children).
Source: The Fourth National Survey on Family in 2008
The National Survey on Household Changes
Households in Japan are undergoing significant changes. These changes not only include the expected decline in the number of total households, but also the increase in one-person households, couple-only households, and single parent households. The National Survey on Household Changes attempts to capture the detailed process of formation, expansion, compression and dissolution of households. Such data on household dynamics are difficult to find in other surveys, and the results are used not only in policy purposes but also in household projections.
●Occurrence Rate of “Empty Nests”
The graph suggests that “empty nests” are most likely to occur where parents are 65 to 69 years old.
エンプティ・ネストの発生率
*Transition from “couple-and- child” households to “couple-only” households, or “empty nests” in five years until the survey date.
Source: The Sixth National Survey on Household Changes in 2009