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1 in 4 children in S. Korea unhappy: survey

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : Sept. 5, 2023 - 14:20

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One in every four children in South Korea said in a survey that they are unhappy, citing pressure to do well at school and family problems as the most prominent reasons.

According to the poll conducted by the health ministry and the National Center for the Rights of the Child in 2022, 72.7 percent of those surveyed said they are either "somewhat happy" or "very happy," while 27.3 percent said they are "not very happy" or "not at all happy."

The proportion of respondents who answered they are unhappy increased significantly in 2022 from 16.5 percent in 2020 and 18.6 percent in 2021.

The happiness level on average was 6.92 points on a scale between 1 and 10. The figure has fallen from 7.68 points in 2020 and 7.58 points in 2021.

Of the children who said they are unhappy, 19 percent chose pressure to do well at school and a further 19 percent said family problems such as discord or fighting, respectively, as the main reasons.

By age, 33.3 percent of elementary and middle school students, among those unhappy children and teenagers, answered family problems as the top answer, while 40 percent of high school students chose academic stress as the main reason.

Other reasons included economic difficulties, difficult relationships with friends and unhappiness with their physical appearance.

The latest edition of the annual survey was conducted from Sept. 5 to Oct. 20 last year on 1,379 children and teenagers in the fourth to 12th grades in South Korea.