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50% of single-parent households in Japan struggle financially: study

People wearing masks walk near a Christmas tree along a pedestrian crossing in the Shibuya district on Dec. 17, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- More than half of single-parent households in Japan struggle financially while 30 percent have experienced being unable to afford food, results of the first government survey on child poverty showed Friday.

    The study, which yielded 2,715 valid responses from students in their second year of junior high school and their guardians, also found that only 34.4 percent of children from single-parent families aim to go onto tertiary education or higher, compared with 49.7 percent overall.

    When asked about their current lifestyle, 51.8 percent of single-parent households said they had some degree of economic hardship, more than double the 25.3 percent of total respondents that said likewise, according to the study conducted between February and March this year.

    The novel coronavirus pandemic may have also exacerbated the situation for low-income and single-parent households, the survey's report said.

    Japan's child poverty rate is high relative to other major economies, standing at 14.0 percent of those aged 17 and younger living in households with lower than half of the national median disposable income, according to a recent tally by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    The child poverty rate was 11.1 percent in Germany, 11.4 percent in Canada and 11.7 percent in France.

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