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S. Koreans' happiness rising slowly but surely: presidential panel

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 3, 2023 - 09:26

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Tourists and locals enjoy the darkening autumn sky at Namsan Mountain in Seoul on the second day of the Chuseok holiday. (Yonhap) Tourists and locals enjoy the darkening autumn sky at Namsan Mountain in Seoul on the second day of the Chuseok holiday. (Yonhap)

South Koreans' happiness level is rising slowly but surely, unlike what the country's ranking on happiness indices might suggest, according to a presidential committee promoting national cohesion.

The Presidential Committee of National Cohesion said in a paper published last month that it reached the conclusion after comparing and analyzing data contained in the annual World Happiness Report and the annual Korea Social Integration Survey (KSIS) over the past 10 years.

The World Happiness Report is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a U.N. advisory panel, while the Korea Social Integration Survey (KSIS) is published by the Korea Institute of Public Administration.

In the 2023 World Happiness Report, South Koreans' happiness ranked 57th out of 137 countries, but their scores for social support and freedom of life -- two factors for happiness -- have been improving gradually since 2017, the committee said.

Social support measures whether there are people who can provide help during difficult times, while freedom of life measures the freedom to choose one's own way of life.

"According to the World Happiness Report, our people's happiness is being maintained at a consistent level, while the KSIS showed it is increasing slowly, little by little," the committee said.

The World Happiness Report surveys 1,000 people each in 140 countries, while the KSIS surveys 8,000 adults aged 19-69 nationwide. (Yonhap)