SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — More than 20 percent of South Koreans regard themselves as unhappy, according to a recent survey.
The Korea Development Institute queried 2,000 participants in a survey, with 20.2 percent of the respondents saying that they felt unhappy in the past, as well as in the present, and don’t expect to feel better in the future.
Seven in 10 said they were worried about falling down the social ladder, while 1 in 3 said life would be filled with constant pain for those who couldn’t start their career at a Korean conglomerate.
Overall, the participants showed significant anxiety towards the social system and social mobility in South Korea.
Of the respondents, 22.4 percent were categorized as ‘hope vulnerables,’ who usually had lower levels of income and education, including seniors in their 60s as well as those in their 40s and 50s.
Another 56.7 percent said they felt okay in the present and things were likely to remain that way in the future, while 18.2 percent said they were currently unhappy, but there was hope for the future.
Some of the respondents were less optimistic, with 2.6 percent saying they felt okay in the present, but had little hope for the future.
Respondents were deeply disappointed in South Korean society, where getting a second chance is difficult.
Among the respondents, 55.9 percent said it was very difficult in South Korea to recover from losing a business or filing for bankruptcy, while 35.7 percent said their life would be in constant jeopardy if they couldn’t begin their career at a conglomerate.
Another 67.3 percent said that households can easily break down financially if a family member suffers from a serious illness.
In terms of social mobility, 15.1 percent were seriously worried about falling down the social ladder, while 56.8 percent agreed that it was a possibility.
In total, 7 in 10 South Koreans were concerned about their standard of living.
“The happiness gap is wide among members of South Korean society,” said the institute. “Closing this gap is vital to increasing the national level of happiness.”
“Prioritizing the improvement of income and employment among vulnerable groups is one thing. In the long-term, the anxiety and distrust rampant in South Korean society should be resolved.”
In the 2018 World Happiness Report published by the United Nations, South Korea ranked 57th out of 157 states in terms of happiness. In terms of inequality of happiness, South Korea ranked 96th.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)