January 08, 2015 12:43
Self-employed, divorced people in their 40s are the unhappiest people in Korea, while the happiest are women in their 20s with professional jobs, the Hyundai Research Institute said in a report on Wednesday.
The institute compiled the report based on a telephone survey of 812 people.
Respondents evaluated their happiness on a scale of 0 to 100, and the institute analyzed the responses according to age, marital status, occupation and education. The survey is conducted every six months.
The previous one in June 2014 showed unemployed people were the unhappiest Koreans. But in the latest survey, self-employed people were the unhappiest. This appears to stem from tough financial conditions experienced by self-employed people as the economic slump drags on.
Also, the unhappiest age group switched from the over-60s to people in their 40s.
When it comes to financial happiness, people in their 40s scored 46.2 out of 100 six months ago, ranking third after those in their 20s and 30s. But now the financial happiness among people in their 40s dwindled to 40.9, putting them last. The financial happiness of those in their 30s also fell from 48.8 to 45.4.
By education, the unhappiest group changed from middle school graduates to university graduates, while people who earned more than W40 million (US$1=W1,102) a year became less happy.
This suggests that young people are feeling the stress of a tough job market, while economic anxiety is spreading among the middle class.
Six months ago, the happiest group was single women in their 30s who worked as civil servants, but now it is single women in their 20s with professional jobs.
It appears that public servants became unhappier due to ongoing moves to reduce pensions and benefits amid a mounting government deficit.
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