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Half of Koreans say they are poor: poll

More than half of South Koreans think they belong to the low-income bracket, a poll showed Monday, apparently reflecting their falling earnings due to the country’s protracted economic slump.

According to the nationwide survey of 1,000 people by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, 50.5 percent said their earnings hover below the nation’s median income.

Another 36.9 percent responded they belong to the middle-income bracket, while only 10.5 percent believed themselves to be high-income earners, the poll showed.

According to the findings, South Koreans are most worried about preparing for life after retirement, followed by education, employment, healthcare, and household debts.

Nearly 29 percent of the respondents are dissatisfied with the welfare policies implemented by the incumbent Lee Myung-bak administration, while only 18.4 percent are satisfied.

Meanwhile, the respondents said President-elect Park Geun-hye, who will take office in late February, should make her top policy priorities creating more jobs, reducing medical costs, and offering financial aid and housing for the low-income bracket, according to the survey. (Yonhap News)