Book readership among South Korean students between 11 and 19 continues to drop, while time spent playing online games increases, a government-commissioned survey showed Monday.
The survey of 6,514 youths, carried out by the National Youth Policy Institute between October and November last year, found that 75.1 percent of them read books for pleasure, compared with 84.8 percent in 2007.
Youths spent 1 hour 36 minutes playing online games per weekday last year, compared with 1 hour 18 minutes in 2008, the survey showed. A comparative figure in 2007 was not available in the survey commissioned by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
On weekends, they spent 2 hours 48 minutes playing online games in 2011, much longer than 1 hour 55 minutes in 2008, according to the report.
Most youths own mobile phones, it said, adding about 68 percent had a mobile phone in 2007 but the percentage jumped to 90.1 percent last year.
South Korea is one of the world's most wired nations, and its penetration rate of mobile phones exceeded its entire population last year, according to government data.
The penetration rate of smartphones among teenage students soared to 36.2 percent last year from 5.8 percent in 2010, the survey found.
Girls chat more online than boys. The survey showed 44.4 percent of boys participate in online chats, while 53.6 percent of girls do.
The survey also found that elementary school students spent an average 2 hours 12 minutes per day watching television in 2011, 2 hours 24 minutes for middle-school students and 1 hour 48 minutes for high-school students.