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Univ. students trust strangers more than politicians, corporations: survey

South Korean university students find strangers to be more trustworthy than local politicians and companies, a survey showed Monday, demonstrating the high level of pessimism among the younger generation about the political and economic agents in the country. 

In a survey of 2,300 students from 130 universities throughout the country, 2.6 percent responded that they trusted politicians, whereas 8.4 percent said they found strangers to be reliable, a local research institute said. 

The poll was carried out by Hyundai Research Institute on request from local student and civic groups.

The number of those who responded positively toward companies was also lower than toward complete strangers, standing at 7.7 percent, according to the survey.

"This outcome in which politicians and firms were ranked less trustworthy than total strangers comes to show that their negative reputation has been accumulating over the years," said Kim Byung-kyu, an official at the research institute.

In contrast, family and friends were at the top of the trust list with 95.8 percent and 88.1 percent, respectively, followed by international organizations at 38.1 percent and hospitals at 33.3 percent, the survey showed. 

"The fact that only family and friends scored more than 50 percent in the survey shows that social capital is that much lacking in South Korea," Kim said. 

Meanwhile, a separate survey of the respondents showed that university students are not as happy as they were two years before. 

On average, the students rated their feeling of happiness at

72.39 points out of 100 last year, down 2.81 points from the 75.2 points in 2012. (Yonhap)