Sunday, 24 July 2011

POVERTY: Japan poverty rate hits record high in 2009+

Jul 12 06:07

Japan's poverty rate in 2009 hit a record-high 16.0 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from 2006, as population shares increased for people aged 65 or older and nonregular employees with less income, the welfare ministry said Tuesday.
The relative poverty rate, which represents a population share for people whose annual income slips below half the median national disposable income, was the highest since the government began to compile the rate in 1985. The median national disposable income in 2009 stood at 2.24 million yen ($28,000).
The rate, calculated every three years, has risen almost consistently from 12.0 percent for the initial year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.
Based on a national livelihood survey conducted in June and July 2010, the ministry also said the child poverty rate, which indicates a share for children aged 17 or younger living in poor households with annual income at less than half the medial level, also hit a record high of 15.7 percent in 2009.
Average annual household income in 2009 rose 0.4 percent to 5,496,000 yen, the ministry said.
The number of elderly households, including those with elderly people and children at 17 or younger, came to an estimated record high of 10,207,000 in 2010, accounting for 21 percent of the total.
In the survey, a record 59.4 percent of responding households said it is difficult to make both ends meet.
The income statistics were based on data covering around 26,000 households, while household member data were obtained from around 230,000 samples.

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