60% of Middle-Class Koreans Feel Poor, Survey Finds
Six out of every 10 middle-class Koreans feel they are poor, a survey shows.
NH Investment and Securities on Tuesday released the survey of 1,025 people aged 30 to 50 in the middle-income bracket. Some 56.5 percent of respondents said they feel poor, and NH Investment attributed the high number to a perceived rise in the criteria for being middle class.
Middle class generally refers to households whose monthly earnings are equivalent to 50 to 150 percent of the country's median income, which at present translates to between W1.94 million and W5.8 million for a household of four people (US$1=W1,171).
But the survey showed that many believe one has to make W5.11 million a month and have at least W640 million in assets to be considered middle class. Respondents' average monthly income was W3.66 million, and the average worth of their assets W180 million.
The survey also found that six out of 10 respondents are at risk of being classified as "poor" after retirement, with their earnings expected to slip below the poverty line of W1.37 million a month for a household of two people.