Income Gap Remains Wide in Japan in 2021

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The income gap remained wide among Japanese households in 2021, reflecting an increase in elderly households earning less than working-generation households, a welfare ministry survey showed Tuesday.

Measured by the Gini coefficient, the gap in initial income per household stood at 0.5700 in 2021, worsening from 0.5594 in 2017 to be almost on par with 0.5704 in 2014, when the income gap was largest on record. The Gini coefficient for income inequality is expressed between zero and one. A number closer to one means a wider gap.

The survey has been conducted roughly every three years since 1962, but the latest one was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 crisis.