The changing transition to adulthood in Japan: delay, diversification and increasing atypical cases

Ryuzaburo Sato, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
Motomi Beppu, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

This study aims to depict the full picture of characteristic changes in the transition to adulthood in Japan over recent years by collecting a variety of reports based on government statistics, nationwide sample surveys and the like and by reviewing past efforts to measure events related to the transition. Key life-course events in the transition include graduation and employment for the school-to-work transition and leaving home, partnership behavior (including dating, cohabitation and first marriage) and the first childbearing for the family-formation process where young people become independent from parents and form their own families. While the age at first sexual intercourse has lowered, ages for almost all other key events for the transition have risen for the recent cohort. However, widening personal gaps and bipolarization have also been seen. Youth behavior patterns that became typical around the 1970s (including universal marriage, bearing 2 or 3 children during several years after marriage, blanket employment of new graduates, long-term employment and population moves from rural regions to urban areas) have been collapsing. In summary, we have to pay more attention to the three tendencies of delay, diversification and increasing atypical cases.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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