29% of high school students come from needy families

Okinawa Prefecture published this week an interim report of a survey of high school students aimed at finding out how household economic conditions affect students’ choices after graduation and their lives.

According to the interim report, 29.3% of the students households were categorized as “needy families” that is defined as families with the after-tax household income of less than ¥1,270,000 a year. The survey also found that 47.1% of students coming from needy families had worked in part time jobs while at school on daytime that is 18.2% higher rate than with other students. Asked what they were using their wages for, 33.7% said for “living expenses.”

The rate of child poverty, calculated from a 2015 survey of elementary and junior high school students in Okinawa, was 29.9% that is almost twice the national average. This survey shows that about 30% of high school students live in the same economic situation.

Regarding the course to take after graduation, 66.1% of students from needy families “take a next stage of education” while 78.9% of students from non-needy families do the same. 18.9% of needy family students expect to “work” right out of the high school but only 8.2% of non-needy family students expect the same. 62% cited too high expenses of the higher education as a reason for choosing to work. 44.1% answered that their school performance was too low to take further education.

32.9% of needy family are in the red and have debts or not saving. 45.6% of single parent families said they had experienced times when they could not afford to buy food during the last one year. 18.6% of them had had utilities cut off because of unpaid bills.