SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – Self-reported happiness levels of young adults in their 20s have declined sharply by 10 percentage points in just six years, a survey has found.
The survey also found that a higher percentage of high earners thought of themselves as happy, with 66 percent of those who earned more than 5 million won a month saying they were happy compared to 40.1 percent of those who earned 1 million won or less.
Commissioned by non-profit organization Happy World, 1,000 adults took part in the survey.
Around half described themselves as happy (51.8 percent). Another 9.5 percent said they were unhappy, while 38 percent did not identify with either emotion, answering that they were neither happy or unhappy.
Overall, happiness declined by 7.3 percentage points and unhappiness increased by 3.7 percentage points compared to the results of the exact same survey conducted in 2011 (also commissioned by Happy World).
The decline in happiness was particularly pronounced among 20-year-olds. Whereas 66.2 percent said they were happy in 2011, only 52.3 percent said the same in the recent survey.
Worryingly, 65.6 percent of unhappy respondents stated they expected their emotional status to remain unchanged in the future. In contrast, an overwhelming 93.6 percent of the happy respondents said likewise.
When asked whether they had anyone in their lives who helped them attain happiness, 63.3 percent replied that they did not. Those who said they did named their friends, parents, significant other and family members.
Public safety, rule of law and economic conditions were the most commonly identified factors on what constitutes a happy society by 96.6 percent, 93.2 percent and 92.4 percent of respondents, respectively.
*Editor’s Note: This article previously stated certain figures in terms of percentage rather than percentage points. The article has now been revised.