Koreans least happy about air and work conditions: happiness index survey

2019.06.03 14:30:41

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Air quality and stagnant income are the biggest complaints for South Koreans, survey showed.

According to the Subjective Well-being Index compiled by a research team led by Seoul National University Professor Yoon Young-ho, Koreans were most content with their family life and health and least happy with the environment and working conditions.

The poll was conducted on 1,200 Koreans from March to May 2018, with the respondents asked to answer questions on a scale of 0 to 10 on 14 dimensions related to overall well-being.

Health and family life received the highest scores at 7.1, with interpersonal relationships also rated high at 7. Environment scored the lowest at 6.2, followed by job and income at 6.4.

The index for those 50 and younger was 1.5 times higher than the older group. Males were 1.3 times happier than females, and married respondents 1.5 times more satisfied than singles.

Rural inhabitants scored 2.3 times higher than their urban counterparts. The index for high-income respondents was 1.3 times higher than the lower-income group.

The research team also shared the results of the Satisfaction with Life Scale, a globally recognized measure used to assess life satisfaction. Korean respondents scored an average of 4.57 on a 7-point rating scale, suggesting nearly half of the population was unhappy about their living conditions.

“The subjective well-being index has given us a more accurate and detailed measurement of the quality of life,” said Yoon. “We hope this new index would be of use to researchers and policymakers in setting more realistic public policies.”

The latest findings would be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

By Lee Byung-moon and Kim Hyo-jin

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