The Definition and Basic Facts of SNEP

Part of the Advances in Japanese Business and Economics book series (AJBE, volume 23)


  1. 1.

    Solitary non-employed persons (SNEP) are people who are between the ages of 20 and 59, unmarried, non-employed, not in school, and who normally spend all of their time alone or do not associate with anyone outside their own families.

  2. 2.

    Based on the information detailing respondents’ activities over a randomly designated period of two consecutive days, obtained from the Statistics Bureau’s Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities (STULA), the number of SNEP saw a sharp increase in the 2000s, eventually reaching 1.62 million in 2011 and plateauing at 1.55 million in 2016. These values correspond to roughly 60–70% of all unmarried, non-employed people aged 20–59 (UMNEP).

  3. 3.

    Almost half of the UMNEP were the family-type SNEP who normally associate only with their own family. On the other hand, the proportion of individual-type SNEP who spend all of their usual time alone among the UMNEP reached a record high in 2016.

  4. 4.

    A considerable percentage of SNEP had not engaged in any social activities such as sports, traveling, and volunteering in the year-long period leading up to the corresponding survey. The inclination toward social inactivity is most salient among individual-type SNEP.

  5. 5.

    On the whole, 21.03 million non-employed persons fall within the scope of the “solitary” definition. Isolation is common among elderly non-employed persons aged 60 or more, and among non-employed people who are divorced or widowed.



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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Social ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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