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January 3, 2007


Indicators - Wellbeing / Wealth Gap

W-5. Public Assistance Rate

1.Current Values
11.2 persons / 1,000 persons (in 2004)

2.Current Points
(out of a perfect score of 100 by 2050) 76 points
Calculation method:
(Current value - minimum value) / (2050 target value - minimum value) x 100

3. Explanation of Indicator
There is a public assistance system in place in Japan for citizens who encounter difficulty in making a living, to ensure a minimum level of sound and cultural living. The public assistance rate had decreased from 24.2 persons per 1,000 after the war to under 7.0 persons in 1995, accompanying economic growth, but since then it has gone up steadily and reached 11.2 in 2004.

Currently the elderly and/or the disabled account for 90% of the public assistance cases. Along with the elderly, elderly households have increased, and there has also been an increase, due to the recession, in the number of single mother and others, including singles in their fifties, etc. We believe that with economic growth in society the number of persons who fall into poverty should decrease rather than increase, and so we have adopted the public assistance rate as an indicator.

4.Target for 2050
7.0 persons (the 1995 value, which was the lowest in the past 60 yeas)

5.Ideal for the Future
Approaching zero

6. Rationale for Ideal and Target Values
For those people who want to work but can't due to illness, old age, or child rearing, there is livelihood protection that provides for them minimally to enable them to survive.Public assistance is the last of a variety of social welfare safety nets, and is a system that is essential to the protection of basic human rights.

On the other hand, we could say that in the ideal situation there would be a safety net to ensure the right to exist, but practically nobody needing to make us of it. We are aiming for 7.0 as a target value for 2050, which was the lowest in the past 60 years, and an ideal value of approaching zero.

7. Source
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare "Public Assistance System Data"(Japanese only)

Related information:
Annual Report on Health and Welfare, Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare