SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — More than half of middle class South Koreans see themselves as members of the lower class, a report said Thursday.
NH Investment & Securities Co. conducted a survey of 1,140 South Korean adults, which showed that this year’s median income for a four-person household stood at 5.12 million won (US$3,628) per month, and the range of income that is equivalent to 75 to 200 percent of the median income stands between 3.85-10.2 million won.
At 45.6 percent, close to half of all middle-class respondents believed themselves to be in the lower class, which was higher than the 40.5 percent reported in the 2020 survey.
Those in their 30s (44 percent), singles (31.2 percent), and single-person households (23.8 percent) were particularly likely to regard themselves as members of the lower class.
Middle-class respondents believed that the monthly income for a four-person household should be at least 6.86 million won, equivalent to the top 24 percent of the country’s income tier, to qualify as middle class.
A four-person household’s monthly consumption should be around 4.27 million won, equivalent to the top 9.4 percent of South Korean households, and should hold at least 940 million won in net assets, equivalent to the top 11 percent of all households in the country, to be regarded as middle class.
Respondents believed that the standard that defines the middle class is income (70.6 percent), followed by real estate (16 percent).
The middle class’s ideal amount of real estate assets was 840 million won, which was 450 million won more than the actual average among the country’s middle class (390 million won).
NH Investment and Securities explained that the South Korean middle class pursues a stable and sufficient lifestyle, beyond the life of the typical middle class.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)