Seoul City released the results of the 2009 Seoul Survey on April 14, a large-scale annual survey on the quality of life of Seoul citizens, their living conditions, housing conditions, interests, and values. The survey, which will be used as basic material to map out the city’s policies and public administration, was conducted by in-person interviews with 20,000 households (46,153 people over the age of 15) in Seoul and 2,500 foreigners living in the city during October last year.
According to the survey, the levels of satisfaction by Seoul citizens in the categories of health and finance have been on a steady rise annually. The happiness index which indicates the quality of life in the city stood at 6.63 points (out of 10 points), an increase of 0.23 points from 2005. In addition, the pride index for Seoul citizens rose by 3.2 points to 73.1 points. Also, 78.6 percent of the surveyed people said they regard Seoul as their hometown.
One of notable points in the survey was that the rate of charitable donations by Seoul citizens has risen since 2006 despite economic difficulties (34.6%→37.0%→44.5%→46.9%). In addition, the volunteering rate has been on an upswing, indicating that the culture of social involvement is spreading among citizens (12.8%→18.5%→21.3%→21.7%).
By category, the level of satisfaction with housing conditions stood at 5.9 points. Social environment received 5.4 points, while economic environment got 5.08 points and educational environment 4.95 points. Overall, the levels of satisfaction with them were similar to or slightly higher than those last year. The level of satisfaction with public transportation rose by 0.15 point from last year with satisfaction with subways rising 0.22 points. However, the living hazards in Seoul continued to decline to 4.49 points in 2009, a drop of 1.35 points from 2003.
74.7 percent do financial planning, preference for bank savings rises 4.7 percentage points
The rate of households with debts fell by 3.5 percent from a year ago to 46.2 percent in 2009. But, the rate of households that do financial planning rose 3.6 percent to 74.7 percent. The rate of households that manage money for retirement, which had fallen since 2003, rose 2.3 percent from a year ago to 59 percent.
53.7 percent of Seoul citizens check expiration dates before buying food
In one of questionnaire items on food safety, which was included in the survey for the first time, 53.7 percent responded that they check expiration and production dates before they buy food.
The survey also found that each household in Seoul owns an average of 1.03 personal computers and 2.57 mobile phones. Also, the average citizen in Seoul uses the Internet for 1.88 hours a day and views television programs for 2.45 hours a day.
Meanwhile, foreigners living in Seoul were satisfied with safety (7.16 points), housing conditions (6.94), the level of openness and friendly attitude by Seoul citizens (6.56), and communications (6.48). The level of satisfaction by foreigners with public transportation rose 0.49 point to 7.29 points with satisfaction with subways rising to 8.12 points.