More than half of Seoul citizens consider their social status as below average, according to the 2011 Seoul Survey of 45,605 people in the capital released Wednesday. Some 51.7 percent regarded their social, economic and political standing as lower middle-class, 18.3 percent considered themselves as upper low-class, and 4.4 percent thought of themselves as low-class.
That means a total of 74.4 percent positioned themselves below the middle on a six-point scale.
However, when class was divided into only three groups -- low, middle, and high-income -- on the basis of monthly household income, 65.2 percent were middle class. In other words, people in Seoul habitually underestimate their social standing.
In the survey, 52.6 percent said they are in debt, and the main reason was buying or renting housing with 67.3 percent. Education costs came a distant second with 10.8 percent, and living expenses third with 8.5 percent. Investment and medical expenses followed with 8.4 and 3.2 percent.
An official at the Seoul Metropolitan Government said, "We plan to reflect the result of this survey on new welfare and labor market policies."