SEOUL, June 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Nearly seven in ten Seoul residents say they have little to no hope of moving up the social ladder, giving social equality in South Korean society a score of 4.5 on a scale of one to ten.
When asked about the prospects of improving their social and financial status based on personal effort, 25.7 percent of respondents living in Seoul said that the potential was low, while 42.3 percent didn’t hold a strong opinion, according to the findings of the 2017 Seoul Survey released yesterday.
Only 32 percent strongly believed in social mobility.
Gloomy figures from the survey also shed light on low expectations among teenagers, who held a more negative view of social mobility than their counterparts in their 30s.
Lower income households were more likely to be skeptical of social mobility in South Korean society.
Among households with a monthly income of less than one million won, only 28.3 percent responded positively to their prospects of social mobility, while the figure among those whose monthly income surpassed three million won rose to 32 percent.
Between age groups, those in their 60s and older held the most negative view of social mobility, accounting for nearly 30 percent.
When asked about social equality, Seoul residents returned a score of 4.51 on a scale of one to ten.
Equality regarding rights of minorities received the lowest score at 3.95, while employment opportunities and income also received relatively low scores of 4.33 and 4.40, respectively.
Half of the respondents also reported to have experienced discrimination based on numerous factors.
Over half (50.8 percent) responded they had experienced discrimination based on income, while 43.5 percent said education level.
Occupation and looks followed as grounds for discrimination, accounting for 39.1 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively.
On the bright side, respondents gave an average score of 6.97 out of 10 when asked how satisfied they were with their lives, up for the third consecutive year.
Though the survey indicated a drop in the number of respondents who said they experienced stress in the last two weeks compared to the figure from 2014, over one in four people in Seoul still said they had felt a great level of stress in the preceding two weeks.
Ashley Song (Ashley@koreabizwire.com)