Japan Data

Survey Finds Japanese Feel Half as Free as Before COVID-19 Crisis

Lifestyle Society Family

A survey of residents of Japanese cities found that they were more concerned about the economy than their own health in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey conducted by the Hakuhōdō Institute of Life and Living found that the estimated degree of freedom in people’s daily lives today in Japan is about half the level it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was set at 100 points. In responses, the average level of current perceived freedom came to 54.3 points. The survey interviewed 1,500 persons aged 20 to 69 living in the three big metropolitan areas centered on Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

Men reported a slightly higher level of freedom than women, while by age, people in their sixties reported the highest scores. This seems to because many are retired and spend more time at home, thus feeling less constricted by having to stay indoors than younger people.

Results for Men and Women

Women Men
53.2 55.3

Results by Age

20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60–69
53.3 52.7 52.8 55.2 57.6

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Hakuhōdō Institute of Life and Living.

The survey also took a closer look at people’s awareness and actions related to the COVID-19 crisis. When asked what in particular they were concerned about, 91.2% pointed to the problem of “economic stagnation,” more than ten percentage points higher than the 78.2% who were concerned about the “health of themselves and family members.” Generally speaking, women expressed a greater degree of concern about the current crisis. Perhaps related to this, women also tended to be more likely to refrain from activities in response to the pandemic.

What are you concerned about?

  All Women Men
Economic stagnation 91.2 93.3 89.1
Governmental response 86.9 92.1 81.9
Situation overseas 83.5 85.9 81.2
Lack of information and unreliable information 82.3 86.6 78.0
Health of myself and my family 78.2 83.9 72.6
Work and income of myself and my family 69.6 71.4 67.8

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Hakuhōdō Institute of Life and Living.

What activities are you refraining from?

  All Women Men
Unnecessary errands outside the home 89.3 93.7 85.0
Trips and leisure activities 88.7 93.4 84.0
Watching concerts, plays, movies, etc. 86.7 91.7 81.9
Meeting friends, social events 85.1 91.4 78.8
Unnecessary shopping 84.2 87.8 80.7
Eating at restaurants 82.7 89.5 75.9

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Hakuhōdō Institute of Life and Living.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: A deserted Tokyo Disney Resort during its temporary closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. © Jiji.)

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