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South Korean Residential Housing Happiness Index 25th among OECD Nations
Living at Bottom
South Korean Residential Housing Happiness Index 25th among OECD Nations
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • August 24, 2015, 01:15
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A packed street in Myeongdong at night sees a lot of traffic.
A packed street in Myeongdong at night sees a lot of traffic.


South Korea’s residential happiness index ranked 25th among 34 OECD countries, appearing at the bottom of the list.

According to a survey called “OECD Well-being by Region” on Aug. 20, South Korea’s residential well-being index scored 2.6 out of 10 points, taking the 25th spot among its member countries. The OECD calculated the well-being index of residents in the 34 member nations by counting the number of rooms per person by country and region.

Canada scored 10 out of 10 points, ranked first with the highest index, followed by the U.S. with 9.7 points and Australia with 8.7 points. Japan, the country known for limited residential spaces, came in 12th place with 6.5 points. Countries that have scores similiar to South Korea are Italy with 2.8 points and Estonia with 1.9 points. In contrast, Mexico came in at zero, ranking the lowest in the index.

Comparing residential score by capital, South Korea showed no significant difference with 2.1 points, coming in at 24th among the 33 countries surveyed. The number of rooms per resident in the metropolitan area of South Korea, including Seoul, stood at 1.3, half the figure of Canada with 2.4. It was even lower than the figure of the western Slovenia, including its capital Ljubljana, with 3.1 points.

Australia’s Canberra and Canada’s Ontario are the capital regions with the highest residents’ well-being index, scoring 8.5 points. The U.K.’s London, which is known for having expensive housing, and the southern Kanto region of Japan, including Tokyo, received 4.8 and 4.7 points, respectively, remaining in the middle of the list.

The OECD looked into the regional well-being index of residents in 362 regions of the 34 member countries. However, there are limitations due to the fact that it did not consider the housing prices and the population density. 

These OECD rankings correspond closely with the 2015 Global Liveability Ranking compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which ranked Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world for the 5th year in a row. Australian cities of Adelaide, Sydney, and Perth also ranked 5th, 7th, and 8th, while Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary took 3rd, 4th, and 5th. (Adelaide and Calgary were tied).

Patrick Stringer, Victorian comissioner to Korea, remarked on Melbourne's 5th year topping the livability charts by saying, “We’re extremely proud of our strong reputation as a great place to live, as the survey results are proof Melbourne offers an enviable lifestyle with a very dynamic and safe living environment.” He added, “Victoria is the only state in Australia to have maintained a AAA credit rating for the past decade. The high quality of lifestyle, supported by strong and stable financial environment and pro-business government policy, Victoria is also where investors from all over the world want to do business.”