Most Sullen In Korea: Self-Employed and Divorced in Their Forties | Be Korea-savvy

Most Sullen In Korea: Self-Employed and Divorced in Their Forties

Respondents in their forties were low on the list, at an average score of 40.9 points.(image: Kobiz Media / Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – In Korea, who are the happiest and the saddest individuals? According to a survey published by Hyundai Research Institute on January 7, self-employed, divorced men in their forties are the most unhappy, and single women in their twenties in specialized professions were the happiest in 2014.

The survey about economic happiness was conducted with the participation of 812 males and females. Respondents graded their state of economical happiness in 6 categories such as stability, superiority, development, equality, stress, and overall happiness, on a 100-point scale. The total sum of points was then averaged.

Korean seniors graded their happiness higher than last year, while happiness for those in their forties dropped. Respondents in their twenties graded their economical happiness at 48.9 points, ranking at the top of the happiness index, while Koreans in their thirties ranked second (45.4 points) and in their fifties & sixties third (44.9 points each). Respondents in their forties were low on the list, at an average score of 40.9 points.

However, it seems that Koreans in their sixties are at their happiest since 2007, when the report was released for the first time. Koreans in their fifties also graded their economical happiness as higher than reported in 2013.

In terms of education, respondents with graduate school degrees were the happiest, followed by Koreans with high school degrees and middle school degrees or below. Koreans with bachelor degrees were the unhappiest.

Unmarried Koreans topped married Koreans in happiness, and divorced Koreans ranked low. Women graded their economical happiness at 45.6 points and men at 43.4 points.

So what made some sullen Koreans unhappy? A high number of respondents, 24.8 percent, answered that insufficient provision for their post-retirement life was what drove them to be unhappy about their economic situation. Problems related to education, housing and employment also contributed to economic unhappiness.

When asked what can be done to raise money for social welfare programs, 41.3 percent of respondents answered that taxes on the rich can solve the problem, while 31.7 percent answered that measures to block tax evasion are needed, and 21.1 percent thought that budget cuts would be best. Only 6 percent answered that the government should tax everyone equally to raise money for welfare programs.

By J.W. Choi (

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