Some 40 percent of Japanese aged 20 or over feel they are not well off, while fewer than 10 percent think they are financially comfortable, a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry poll showed, pointing to particularly high rates among unemployed men, whose ranks include those aged 80 and older.
Released Wednesday, the survey, conducted last July by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, an affiliate of the ministry, covered around 21,000 people at some 11,000 households nationwide.
Some 30 percent of the respondents said their budgets were rather tight, while around 10 percent said they had a very difficult time making ends meet.
The combined proportion of respondents who said they were rather well off or very well off was less than 10 percent. About half of all respondents said they were leading normal lives.
The proportion of those who said they were not well off was the highest among jobless men in their 40s, at 71.9 percent, followed by jobless men in their 30s, at 66.9 percent. The lowest figure was 22.4 percent for unemployed men aged 80 or over and unemployed women in the same age bracket.
Some 40 percent of the respondents said that their standard of living had worsened somewhat or considerably compared with five years before. Around half of the respondents said it had not changed.
Asked about the influence of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, 17.6 percent of the respondents said their bonds with members of their families and friends had become stronger.
A total of 10.4 percent said their income had dropped after the disaster. The proportion stood at 19.9 percent among men in their late 40s. The survey is conducted every five years.