Has South Korea’s Happiness Level Hit A New Low?

David Lee, Dec. 22, 2015, 9:07 a.m.


The Smart Happiness Forum has investigated the happiness index of the seven major cities in Korea since 2011, and this year it announced that the happiness index of Korea was 5.46 points out of 10, which is the lowest since the investigation started in 2011.

The Smart Happiness Forum conducted one-on-one surveys over the phone from November 1 to November 30, with the participation of 1,024 respondents from seven major cities. Only 28.7 percent replied that they were ‘happy’ (7-10 points), while 16 percent of the respondents answered that they were ‘unhappy’ (0-3 points), and 55 percent answered that they felt ‘normal’ (4-6 points).

Those who showed the least satisfaction in life were citizens of Incheon, those who received education under a high school level, those who got divorced or lost their spouse, people in their 60s, and those with a monthly income between 2.01 million won and 5 million won. In contrast, citizens of Seoul and Busan, those who studied to at least a master’s degree level, single people, those in their 20s, and college students were the happiest.

In 2011, the first year of the survey, the happiness index of Korean people stood at 6.41 points. The index peaked in 2012 with 6.64 points, and started to fall from 2013 with 6.24 points, 5.83 points in 2014 and 5.46 points this year.

“The reason people in their 20s and college students have a higher level of happiness is because at a young age, they have less pressure related to money, and tend to have an optimistic view of the future. To increase happiness levels, stable jobs should be created, and measures to stabilize the home economy of citizens are a must,” said Jung Sung-ho, head of the Smart Happiness Forum, in analyzing the results.

 

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