Photo: Guryong Village shanty town in Seoul. Credit: Public domain.
Gallup Korea revisited its 1990 survey on poverty, asking respondents in 2023 the same questions asked 33 years ago. In 1990, only 13% of respondents said that poor people were worse-off than in the previous decade, reflecting the roaring economic growth of the time. The mood was grimmer in 2023: 38% of respondents said poor people were worse-off.
At the same time, respondents are feeling less charitable: 52% of respondents in 1990 said that poverty was due to factors beyond one’s control, as opposed to 28% in 2023. In 1990, 26% of people surveyed said they would be willing to pay twice as much in taxes in exchange for greater social welfare for the poor. In 2023, only 8% said the same.