About a quarter of South Korean households saw their income decline over the past year, a survey showed Thursday, indicating an economic slowdown is taking its toll on the livelihoods of many citizens here.
According to the survey conducted by Statistics Korea in July, 25.2 percent said their income shrank compared with a year earlier. The figure was 7.1 percentage points higher than those who answered that their income grew over the same period.
The survey on working individual members of households showed that 49.1 percent were "unsatisfied" with their current income levels, up 2.5 percentage points from a similar survey conducted two years ago.Those who are "satisfied," meanwhile, stood at 11.7 percent, down 2.4 percentage points over the same period.
Respondents said that about 2.29 million won (US$1,971) is the appropriate monthly household income level. The figures for those in cities and farming areas came to 2.38 million won and 1.88 million won, respectively.
With income declining, a growing number of people viewed themselves as "lower-class" citizens in terms of their social and economic status.The survey showed that 45.3 percent of respondents viewed themselves as part of the lower class, up 2.9 percentage points from two years ago, when a similar survey was conducted.
Those who regarded themselves as "upper class" and "middle class" stood at 1.9 percent and 52.8 percent, respectively, down 0.8 percentage points and 2.1 percentage points from two years ago, according to the survey.