The average annual income of Japanese households in 2010 declined ¥132,000 from a year earlier to ¥5,380,000, the same level as in 1988, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a report Thursday.
The figure represents a drop of ¥1,262,000 from the record ¥6,642,000 marked in 1994.
The ministry attributed the decline to deterioration in the employment situation and the increase in the number of nonregular workers. The report also said an all-time high of 61.5 percent of households replied that they were struggling to make a living.
A total of 7,156 households responded to the survey performed on July 14 last year. Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures were not surveyed due to the earthquake and tsunami disasters that hit the region last year.
The survey showed that the average income of households with one or more children decreased by ¥385,000 to ¥6,581,000 in the reporting year, indicating the economic slump has severely affected child-bearing households.
The average income of households of people aged 65 or older declined by ¥20,000 to ¥3,072,000, according to the report.
By income bracket, 13.6 percent of households came in between ¥3 million and ¥4 million, forming the biggest group, followed by 13.3 percent whose average income was between ¥2 million and ¥3 million, and 13.1 percent with average incomes of between ¥1 million and ¥2 million.