- The Association of Japanese Geographers
- 地理学評論 (ISSN:13479555)
- vol.79, no.12, pp.608-618, 2006-10-01 (Released:2008-12-25)
Previous studies of residential mobility and housing policies have focused on nuclear families. Recently, however, the number of one-person households has increased in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, mainly due to the increase of late marriage and more working women. The purpose of this study is to examine the residential choice process of single women of the ages of 30-39 and to analyze the factors affecting it. To identify these, this study adopted a multimethod approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods. From the analysis of census data it became clear that single women in their 30's living alone concentrate in the western vicinities of the CBD, which implies that they prefer convenient places to short commutes. Quantitative analysis of the questionnaire data supported this inference by the fact that the most important reason given for their residential choice was accessibility to railway stations. However, the type of residence and working style showed marked differences among income groups. The answers to the open-ended questions of the questionnaire and a focus group interview revealed constraints on the housing choices of single women. Especially, some of the respondents faced difficulty in housing searches and in making contracts with real estate brokers. This could be due to the low confidence of single women, reflecting the conventional patriarchy of Japanese society.