Life in Kyoto is too expensive. For young people, it is "almost impossible" to start a family

Couples in their 30s with two children must earn over 480,000 yen (about US,390) a month, 549,800 yen for couples in their 40s, and 707,500 yen for those in their 50s. Children’s education is one of the most expensive items.

Kyoto (AsiaNews/Agencies) – For young couples in Kyoto, the country’s ancient capital and seat of the prefecture with the same name, it is "almost impossible" to start a family.

The cause is in the high cost of living. To lead a "normal" life, a couple in their 30s with two children must earn more than 480,000 yen (about US,390) per month, this according to Kyoto Sohyo, a labour organisation based in the western Japanese city.

The study looked at city’s Fushimi ward. A "normal life" there would include the following expenses: rent of 61,000 (US8) to 67,000 yen (US3) for a flat of 43 to 50 square metres, 37,000 yen (US8) to keep a car, 5,000 yen (US) for a day trip, and 4,000 yen (US) for the husband to attend a drinking party.

Kyoto Sohyo looked at couples in their 30s, 40s, and 50s with two children, their living conditions, belongings and their style of life.

It found that the first group needs 480,000 yen to cover monthly expenses, including taxes and social security bonuses; the second 549,800 yen (US,028) and the third 707,500 yen (US,470).

Children’s education was a top expense. Kyoto Sohyo assumed that children would go to private kindergartens and public elementary, junior high and high schools. In the case of the couple in their 50s, it assumed that the eldest sons would attend private universities.

Based on these assumptions, the monthly education expenses for parents in their 50s would be around 110,000 yen (US,006) a month to cover the costs for the eldest son enrolled in a private university.

Likewise, the monthly education expenses for a couple in their 30s would be 28,000 yen (US6), those for a couple in their 40s would be 39,000 yen (US7) and those for a couple in their 50s would jump to 130,000 yen (US,189).