Koreans More Racist Than Chinese and Japanese

Koreans are not very tolerant of other races despite their relatively high levels of education and income, the World Values Survey finds according to the Washington Post.

The survey polled people in more than 80 countries to find out who they would or would not want as neighbors. Countries were ranked in seven levels of racial tolerance, and Korea was in the second-most intolerant category.

Some 36.4 percent of Koreans said they would not want someone from a different race as their neighbor. In Japan and China, the proportion was less than 20 percent.

The paper described Korea as an "outlier," because although Koreans are "rich, well-educated, peaceful and ethnically homogenous -- all trends that appear to coincide with racial tolerance -- more than one in three… said they do not want a neighbor of a different race."

"This may have to do with Korea's particular view of its own racial-national identity as unique -- studied by scholars such as B.R. Myers -- and with the influx of Southeast Asian neighbors and the nation's long-held tensions with Japan," according to the daily.

Pakistan was also described an outlier, but at the other end of the spectrum. "Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance -- sectarian violence, its location in the least tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices -- only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race," the paper said.

Bangladesh was the most racially intolerant with 71.7 percent of respondents there saying they did not want to have someone from another race as a neighbor. Next were Jordan (51.4 percent) and India (43.5 percent).

Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. had less than 5 percent of respondents disapproving of neighbors from other ethnic groups, but Sweden the most tolerant with only 1.8 percent.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 20, 2013 12:30 KST