Growing numbers of single Japanese women are looking for a mate who can do housework and raise children, according to the latest government survey on singles’ attitudes.

The share of single women aged 18 to 35 who place high importance on help around the house surged to 58.7 percent from 43.6 percent in the previous survey, conducted five years ago.

The government released the data last week from its regular study of views toward marriage and family among the country’s young single population. It uses the figures to help forecast demographic trends.

The only factor of greater importance was personality, which 90.1 percent of those surveyed said was important when deciding who to marry, down from 92.2 percent.

Those valuing a mate’s finances remained steady at around 33 percent.

A rising number of women, meanwhile, said they would ideally have both a career and a family. The ratio of women expecting to be full-time housewives fell, continuing a trend that started in 1992.

The results of the survey reflect growing numbers of women in the workplace and greater job opportunities for their gender. Japan’s prolonged economic slump has also spurred a rise in dual income families as more women get jobs to compensate for job and wage cuts suffered by their spouses.

Both men and women showed a tendency toward wedding later rather than earlier in life.

The vast majority of singles intending to get married said they want children, with about 60 percent of men and women hoping for two.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research surveyed 12,866 single men and women from June 2002 for the report. The response rate was 75.3 percent.

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