Population: 127.2 million

  • Ranks at the top in personal security. It ranks above the OECD average in income and wealth, education and skills, jobs and earnings, housing, personal security, and environmental quality. It is below the average in terms of civic engagement, subjective well-being, social connections, work-life balance and health status.
  • Average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 29,798 a year, lower than the OECD average of USD 33,604 a year. There is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn more than six times as much as the bottom 20%.
  • 75% of people aged 15 to 64 in Japan have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 68%. Some 83% of men are in paid work, compared with 67% of women. In Japan, the percentage of employees working very long hours is higher than the OECD average of 11%.
  • The percentage of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, is above the OECD average of 78%. The average student scored 529 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is much higher than the OECD average of 486. Although girls outperformed boys in many OECD countries, in Japan boys scored 2 point higher than girls on average.
  • Life expectancy at birth in Japan is 84 years, four years higher than the OECD average of 80 years, and one of the highest in the OECD. Life expectancy for women is 87 years, compared with 81 for men.
  • Level of atmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 13.8 micrograms per cubic meter, slightly lower than the OECD average of 13.9 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Water quality, as 87% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, compared with an OECD average of 81%.
  • Strong sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Japan, where 89% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, in line with the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 53% during recent elections; lower than the OECD average of 68%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 53% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 49%, a much narrower than the OECD average gap of 13 percentage points.
  • General satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10: 5.9 grade on average, lower than the OECD average of 6.5.