University of Tokyo

Survey Number 1185
Survey Title National Survey of the Japanese Elderly<Wave7>, 2006
Depositor Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology
Restriction of Use For detailed information, please refer to 'For Data Users' at SSJDA website.

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Educational Purpose Available for both research and instructional purposes.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
Access to Datasets Download
Nesstar Not available
Summary This research was initiated in 1986 as a collaborative project of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (principal researcher: Daisaku Maeda) and the University of Michigan (principal researcher: Jersey Liang). In 1987, the first survey (Wave 1) was conducted, targeting men and women aged 60 years and older, who were extracted using a two-stage stratified random sampling in Japan. Subsequently, while supplementing a sample of people aged 60 to 62 years in 1990 (Wave 2), people aged 60 to 65 years in 1996 (Wave 4), and people aged 70 years and older in 1999 (Wave 5), follow-up surveys have been conducted every three to four years. From Wave 5 in 1999, The University of Tokyo joined as the main entity conducting the survey.

In this survey, the resources and living conditions of the elderly were investigated from various aspects, such as their physical and mental health, family, social relationships other than family, and financial conditions. By adopting a longitudinal study or panel survey method to repeatedly investigate the same subjects, it was possible to analyze the state of changes in the resources and living conditions of the elderly and the factors that are causing these changes.

This release comprises the data from Wave 7, conducted in 2006. Just as in Wave 6 (2002), it is a large-scale follow-up survey of participants up to Wave 4 and individuals aged 70 and older who were newly randomly sampled in Wave 5. No additional sample was drawn.

The names of each Wave are not unified in different sources, but they are handled as follows.

- Wave 1 (W1) ... 1st survey, survey of 1987, initial survey
- Wave 2 (W2) ... 2nd survey, survey of 1990, 1st follow-up survey
- Wave 3 (W3) ... 3rd survey, survey of 1993, 2nd follow-up survey
- Wave 4 (W4) ... 4th survey, survey of 1996, 3rd follow-up survey
- Wave 5 (W5) ... 5th survey, survey of 1999, 4rd follow-up survey
- Wave 6 (W6) ... 6th survey, survey of 2002
- Wave 7 (W7) … 7th survey, survey of 2006

Of these, the data from Wave 1 to Wave 3 were published as 0395, the data from Wave 4 as 0679, and the data from Wave 5 and Wave 6 as 0823.

These survey data were also published as the “National Survey of the Japanese Elderly” in the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research data archive.
Data Type quantitative research
quantitative research: micro data
Universe People who (1) had been sampled in or before Wave 4 and participated in follow-up surveys (aged 70 years and older as of the end of September 2006) or who had been sampled in Wave 5 and participated in follow-up surveys (aged 77 years and older as of the end of September 2006) and (2) had participated in one or more surveys up until Wave 6.

*In this survey, people who responded to the survey of extracted Wave (including substituting responses) are all in principle follow-up subjects. Even if along the way there is a Wave that was not responded to, a request for cooperation in the survey was sent on each occasion, except in cases of death or refusal to continue with the survey.

Unit of Observation Individual
Sample Size - Sample size excluding deceased: 3,263 people, valid responses: 2,459, response rate excluding deceased: 75.4%
(- Follow-up respondents prior to Wave 5 – sample size excluding deceased: 2,067 people, valid responses: 1,562, response rate excluding deceased: 75.6%)

(- Follow-up respondents added in Wave5 – sample size excluding deceased: 1,196 people, valid responses: 897, response rate excluding deceased: 75.0%)

*The number of responses includes responses to proxy surveys (see [Mode of Data Collection] below).
Date of Collection
Time Period
Spatial Unit Japan
Sampling Procedure Individuals who had participated at least once up until Wave6
Mode of Data Collection Face-to-face interview using a questionnaire sheet

*While the survey, as a general rule, was carried out as an interview with the target individual, a proxy survey was completed by a family member, etc. in the case that the target individual could not respond because of serious illness, etc.
Investigator Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, The University of Tokyo, survey carried out by the Central Research Services, Inc.
Sponsors (Funds)
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation [Main questionnaire] [Proxy survey questionnaire]] [Missing survey questionnaire] [Codebook]
Major Survey Items (1) Basic attributes, etc.
Regional characteristics, moving situation, month and year of birth, gender, death situation, etc.
(2) Work
Whether or not respondent is currently working/attributes (employment status, size by number of employees, occupation type), number of working days/hours, existence of retirement/period, etc.

(3) Family
Marital status, month and year of separation by death or divorce, number of children, children’s attributes (gender/age/marital status/distance from home, etc.), number of cohabitants, relationship/age/gender of cohabitants, work/health of spouse, aid to children, etc.

(4) Social relationships (other than family)/social support
Friends/neighbors/participation in groups (number of close friends, number of neighborhood relationships, frequency of contact with friends/neighbors/relatives, groups participated in, feeling of isolation, etc.), receiving social support (person who listens to respondent, person who show respondent kindness, care for sickness/person respondent can rely on for financial assistance, etc.), negative support (receiving requests for help from people around, etc.), offering social support (listening to others, encouraging others), etc.

(5) Physical health
Illness/visual acuity/hearing ability (chronic disease, urinary incontinence within one year, etc.), ADL/IADL/physical function (daily motion, ability for instrumental activities of daily living, presence of helpers/frequency, physical ability, etc.), subjective sense of health (level of health compared with people of the same generation/one year ago, etc.)
(6) Health-related behavior
Use of medical institutions/health and welfare services (number of times seeing a doctor, number of days of hospitalization, at-home nursing care, short stays, etc.), height/body weight/lifestyle habits (frequency of working in garden/doing exercise/frequency of taking a walking, drinking/smoking, etc.)

(7) Mental health/subjective happiness
Cognition function, scale of depression, scale of life satisfaction level, satisfaction level by area (health condition, financial conditions, work, spouse, family, friends, overall life)

(8) Finance
Real estate (type of housing, title of condominium and land, etc.), income/savings (annual income of respondent and spouse combined, annual income of the household as a whole, source of income, trouble making ends meet, financial conditions compared with people of the same generation), expenditure (person paying expenditure, minimum amount necessary to cover monthly living expenses, reaching into savings to get by), etc.
(9) Other
Life events/stress (experience of losing a child, experience of losing siblings/close friends within a year, etc.), feeling of financial control, family norms (supporting or caring for old parents, inheritance of real estate, etc.), religion (daily religious behavior, frequency of religious activities, etc.)

(10) Observations by survey staff
Whether or not there was an accompanying person, level of understanding/level of cooperation of subject, etc.

*See the codebook attached to the data for variances of survey items that are common to the previous Waves.

Date of Release
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Topics in SSJDA Health/Medical Care
Version 2018/06/01 :
Notes for Users Details regarding how to acknowledge the data source can be also found in the "Readme" file sent along with the data.