February 27, 2012 12:31
Korea ranks 31st out of 32 OECD members in a study of life satisfaction, far below Korea's per-capita income ranking of 22 in the organization.
Korea is the world's seventh-largest exporter and ranks 15th in terms of economic size, but the study, titled "Exploring Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing in OECD Countries: Evidence from the World Values Survey," shows it still has a long way to go in improving the happiness of its citizens.
The OECD calculated the happiness index based on the results of five previous studies conducted from 1981 to 2008 by the World Values Survey at the University of Michigan. Factors included based on 10 variables including life satisfaction, income, income inequality, education, and freedom of choice and control.
Denmark ranked highest, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland and Austria.
Korea fared particularly poorly in the category of trust in people. The study said that "trust in people has a stronger positive association with life satisfaction in Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Korea, Luxembourg and Switzerland, which have low average levels of social trust" and added that countries with low life satisfaction also displayed greater income inequality, creating a sense of loss and intensifying competitive pressure.
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