The Definition and Basic Facts of SNEP
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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.
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).
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.
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.
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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