SEJONG, Dec. 10 (Korea Bizwire) - South Korea’s so-called echo boom generation has less pride in their Korean identity and are more self-oriented than baby boomers, nationwide data showed Thursday.
According to the 2015 Korean Social Trend report by Statistics Korea, people born between 1979 to 1992, who make up 19.5 percent of the country’s population, feel less pride about being a Korean and the country as a whole, when compared with their parents.
Among the echo boom generation, viwed as an echo of baby boomers, 66.9 percent said they felt pride, significantly less than 79 percent for baby boomers, born between 1955 to 1963, and who were instrumental in the country’s rise from rags to riches. Baby boomers account for 14.2 percent of South Korea’s 50 million population.
Reflecting this view, 29.5 percent of the younger generation classified themselves as being politically progressive vis-a-vis just 14.6 percent for baby boomers.
The echo generation, in addition, had less trust in their neighbors and society, and had more liberal outlooks regarding jobs and lifestyles.
Of people between 23 and 36, 52.6 percent said they trusted their neighbors, compared with 72.1 percent for their parents’ generation. The same people were less trustful of the government and large conglomerates.
The findings also showed 61.9 percent approved of men and women living together before marriage, with 22.5 percent claiming they placed great importance on interest and aptitude when selecting a job. Corresponding numbers for baby boomers were 34.4 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively.
On perception of North Korea, 10 percent of the echo generation viewed the country as a friend, with 33.3 percent considering it as an enemy. Both numbers are slightly below the 14.8 percent and 34.6 percent tallied for people between the ages of 52 and 60.
The latest survey, meanwhile, showed that the level of stress felt by both youths and adults fell compared with the past.
Stress felt by young adults fell to 37 percent in 2014 vis-a-vis 46.5 percent in 2007, while numbers for adults dipped to 24.4 percent in 2013 from 31.4 percent in 2009.
Large numbers of students in middle and high school experienced discrimination in regards to grades. Some 37.7 percent of middle school students felt some form of discrimination, with this number rising to 47.8 percent for high schoolers.
Among students, more spent their leisure time with their family or by themselves compared with the past, while spending less time with friends, the latest survey showed.
Those that spent their leisure time by themselves jumped 12.7 percentage points to 56.8 percent in 2014 from 2007, with numbers rising 11 percentage points in the same period to 32.1 percent who said they were with their families.
Respondents who said they socialized with friends in their free time nosedived 26.2 percentage points to 8.3 percent last year, the data showed.