According to the survey of people aged 19 years old and over conducted by Statistics Korea, 41.1 percent said they became better off in 2017 compared to three years earlier, up from 38.8 percent in 2015.
The positive response has been growing since 2011 when the number was 30.9 percent.
Some 40.1 percent of people living in urban areas felt improvements in the quality of their lives during the three-year period, while 45.9 percent of those in rural regions said that things are better.
But the percentage of people who think public health and medical services have been enhanced over the cited period fell to 51.9 percent from 52.7 percent tallied in 2015.
In terms of the quality of the social welfare system, moreover, only 45.9 percent of people thought the service got better this year from three years earlier, a decrease from 48.5 percent.
The study also showed that 65.4 percent of those surveyed said they are preparing for their post-retirement life in 2017, slightly up from 65.3 percent in 2015. The national pension fund was the most popular means of preparation, followed by private bank accounts and other public social security systems.
Among those in their 60s, only 22.2 percent said they plan to live with their children in the future, down from 24.9 percent two years ago.
Separately, the study showed that 43.1 percent of those surveyed said they placed priority on their work over their families, down from 53.7 percent two years ago. It was the first time that figure fell below the 50 percent mark since 2011, when the question was first asked.
Meanwhile, 13.9 percent said they placed priority on their families over their work, and 42.9 percent said their work and their families are equally important.
There are growing calls for improved balance between work and life in South Korea in recent years, as some people now pursue what is known as a YOLO (You Only Live Once) lifestyle.
YOLO, which was first featured in a song by Canadian rapper Drake in 2011, caught on here after appearing on a popular reality TV show early last year.
In 2015, South Korean workers put in an average 2,113 hours a year at work, the second highest among all member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 347 hours more than the OECD average of 1,766 hours in the same year, according to an earlier report.