The share of Japanese households seeing their living conditions as difficult increased 8.3 percentage points from the previous year to 59.6% in 2023, a welfare ministry survey has shown.

The ministry believes that the result stemmed from rising prices.

The survey, the latest national poll on living conditions, was conducted from June to July last year, with 40,526 families on household composition and 4,768 families on incomes.

According to the annual survey, among all respondents who answered that their living conditions were difficult, 26.5% chose "very difficult" and 33.1% "somewhat difficult." By household type, 59% of elderly households and 65% of households with children answered that their living conditions were difficult.

The survey also showed that the average annual income per household decreased ¥215,000, or 3.9%, from the previous year to ¥5,242,000.

The average for elderly households was ¥3,049,000, down ¥134,000.

Meanwhile, households with children posted an increase of ¥276,000 to ¥8,126,000. The growing share of working mothers seems to have pushed up their average.

Among the families with children surveyed, working mothers accounted for 77.8% of all mothers, hitting a record high. The share of full-time employees among working mothers was 32.4%, also a record high.