Income gaps have widened among people aged 25-34 in Japan

February 10, 2022

The Yomiuri ShimbunIncome gaps among people aged 25 to 34 have widened, as evidenced by the rise of the Gini coefficient for that age group, according to a Cabinet Office report on the Japanese economy for 2021-2022.

The report, which mainly analyzed economic conditions in Japan and was released Monday, noted that “increasing the incomes of the people who will likely marry and raise children is important as a measure to cope with the tendency of people to marry later and the declining number of children.”

The Gini coefficient is an index that represents income inequality using numerals from zero to one. The larger the income gaps, the closer the index is to one.

By age group, the figure for people 25 to 29 rose from 0.24 in 2002 to 0.25 in 2017. For people aged 30 to 34, it rose from 0.311 to 0.318 during the same period.

According to the report, the reasons behind the increases are that the percentage of men who work non-regular contract jobs has risen and they work fewer hours.

In other age groups, Gini coefficient figures have gradually fallen, in general.

Among people aged 25 to 34, while the percentage of single-person households has risen, that of households comprising couples and their children has declined.

Comparing data from 2014 and 2019, the percentage of those who have children had largely declined among people whose annual incomes are under ¥5 million.

“Among low-income households, people have increasingly faced difficulties in making choices about marrying and having children,” the report stated.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aims to expand the middle class by raising the incomes of child-raising households and young people in general, mainly through reforms of the social security system