Young people in their 20s and 30s these days tend to avoid marriage or be afraid of it. This is often because of the concerns that life after marriage might be less happy than life before marriage.
That is the case with Kim Han-byeol, 31, who has been working for a startup company for seven years. She is choosing to stay single out of concerns that the efforts she has put into to build her career might go down the drain because of marriage and kids. Another reason to stay single is marriage often takes away the freedom to do what one likes to do. “It is nice to see married couples build a happy family together but getting married also means having to give up certain things in life,” Kim said.
The number of single-family houses is on the rise and more people are choosing not to get married, but a great number of respondents said their source of happiness comes from their family. According to a survey jointly conducted by Dong-A Ilbo and Deloitte Korea, the biggest factor that affected the respondents’ happiness index was “family life.”
The happiness index for married couples was higher than that of singles (51.72) at 58.59. The survey shows that people find more happiness when they have more children. People with two children had higher happiness index at 59.03 than people with no children (58.76) and people with one child (56.92). The number soared to 62.31 for people with three children. “I’ve become happier since my third child was born,” said Park Dae-gyo, 31, who has three children. “I’d say my happiness index stands at 100.”
What was interesting in the survey was the happiness index increased just by planning to have children. The happiness index for those who do not have a plan to have children stood at 47.10, much lower than people planning to have one child (54.63) and two children (54.14). “Humans feel happy when they are with someone they love,” said Kim Jae-hui, psychology professor at Chung-Ang University. “They become happier when they have more family members as they have more people to love.”
That is why people who spend more time with their family are happier. Those who spend less than one hour with their family during the weekend had the happiness index of 45.87, the lowest among the total respondents, whereas those who spend 6-12 hours with their family had the highest happiness index of 60.67.