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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 28 - July 4  > Gov’t survey finds one in seven children still in poverty
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2017 June 28 - July 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov’t survey finds one in seven children still in poverty

June 28, 2017
The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare on June 27 released survey results indicating a serious situation where one in every seven children lives in poverty. Child poverty continues to be a serious problem in Japan.

According to the ministry’s 2016 survey on people’s living conditions, the relative poverty rate among children under 18 years old stood at 13.9% in 2015, exceeding the OECD average of 13.3%.

The relative poverty rate for all people was 15.6%. For OECD member nations, the rate averaged 11.3%. Regarding Japan’s single-parent households, more than 50% were in a state of poverty and over 80% have difficulties in earning a livelihood.

The survey pointed to growing income disparities.

The average annual household income was 5.45 million yen, but 61.4% of total households earned less than that. More specifically, 13.7% of the total earned 2-3 million yen and 13.4% made only 1-2 million yen annually. Concerning financial assets, 14.9% had no savings. According to the data, the amount in savings of four in ten households decreased from the previous year.

In addition, the survey revealed that a growing number of the elderly requiring nursing care have no choice but to receive care from their family members who are also in an advanced age under the Abe government’s policy cutting nursing-care services.

In 54.7% of households with persons aged over 65 who need to be looked after, family caretakers were also older than 65 years old. Likewise, concerning households in which both care-receivers and caregivers are over 75, the percentage was 30.2%, topping the 30% mark for the first time ever.

Past related articles:
> NPO head calls for more public spending to combat child poverty problem [December 1, 2016]
> Japanese children’s poverty rate hits record high [July 17, 2014]

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