Where Do South Koreans Rank on ‘Quality of Life’ Rankings Among OCED Countries

Kyung Ho Kim, Oct. 21, 2015, 8:55 a.m.


A recent report has found that the quality of life among Koreans was the lowest compared to other members of the OECD. According to a report issued by the OECD entitled ’2015 How’s life?’, the satisfaction level with life among Koreans was 5.80 out of 10, which was lower than the OECD average of 6.58. In the overall rankings, Korea ranked 27th among 34 members of the OECD.

As age increased, Koreans seemed to be more and more dissatisfied with their lives, while younger people tended to be more satisfied. However, that doesn’t mean that Korean children are spending a happy childhood. The average amount of time that Korean children spent with their parents was 48 minutes per day, which was the shortest among the OECD countries. The OECD average was 151 minutes.

Of note, children spent an average of only six minutes every day with their fathers, for a last place rank among OECD countries, and a result that was dramatically lower than the OECD average of 47 minutes.

Instead, Korean children and students topped the rankings when it came to academic achievement. The reading skills of Korean students over 15 ranked second, and they ranked first in problem solving skills based on computers. It could be a good thing that the data shows the outstanding academic achievement of Korean students, but it could also be seen as a result that comes from an overly competitive environment.

The dissatisfying lives of Korean people were shown through a category called ‘perceived social network support’, as Korea ranked 34th among the 34 countries of the OECD. Perceived social network support refers to investigating if a person has a friend or relative they can turn to in difficult times. The perceived social network support score of Koreans was 72.37, which was lower than the OECD average (88.02) and any other member of the OECD. The report’s analysis said that Koreans tend to think that since they can’t support others due to their hard lives, others will not support them as well.

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