“Korea is completely ruined, wow!”
This is the reaction of Joanne Williams, professor emeritus at the University of California, USA, upon hearing our country’s total fertility rate.
That’s right, in the second quarter of this year, Korea’s total fertility rate, or the average number of babies expected to be born per woman during her childbearing period, was ‘0.7 ‘. Due to the unprecedentedly low birth rate, there are predictions that our country will become a ‘population-extinct country’.
To solve this problem of population decline, countermeasures such as attracting immigrants such as foreign workers and students are constantly being discussed. But this is where this question arises. From the perspective of foreigners, is our country a satisfactory place to live, or will they feel discriminated against?
■ Are you satisfied with your life in Korea?… 8 out of 10 people were “satisfied”
The National Statistical Office announced yesterday (6th) the results of an analysis of ‘life in Korea for foreigners residing in Korea’ to answer these questions. This is an analysis based on the ‘Immigrant Residence Status and Employment Survey’ conducted every year by the Ministry of Justice and the National Statistical Office to manage the increasing number of immigrants staying in the country.
This analysis produced results limited to 20,000 foreigners, excluding 5,000 people who had already been granted naturalization as Korean citizens.
The first thing you might be curious about is how satisfied foreigners living in Korea are with their lives in Korea.
It may be a bit unexpected, but the overall satisfaction level of foreigners living in Korea was found to be high. 80.4% of both men and women are satisfiedThe answer was (very satisfied + somewhat satisfied). In addition, ‘very satisfied’ was 40.8%, and ‘somewhat satisfied’ was 39.6%, with ‘very satisfied’ being slightly higher.
This was followed by average (17.7%) and dissatisfaction (1.9%), but it is noticeable that the rate of dissatisfaction (slightly dissatisfied + very dissatisfied) is quite low.
Looking at each area of life, satisfaction with relationships with people around them was found to be high. 89.5% of foreigners responded that they were satisfied with their relationships with people around them. Satisfaction with the housing environment also reached 79.2%, but the satisfaction rate with income was relatively low at 53.3%.
■ What was difficult about living in Korea? Even if the level of satisfaction with “Language and Loneliness”
is high, living in a foreign country will not be easy. I also asked what was difficult for foreigners.
For both men and women, language problems (43.3%) were the most difficult part. This was followed by loneliness (28.8%) and cultural differences such as lifestyle and food (27.8%) . As many as 20% were experiencing financial difficulties.
On the other hand, it was found that they felt relatively less difficulties in child rearing and education (7.9%) and family conflicts (2.4%).
As many as 32.7% responded that they had no difficulties.
However, there were detailed differences depending on gender. Men had more difficulties than women with loneliness (31.9%), language problems (45.8%), and cultural differences (29.8%). Women were found to experience more difficulties in raising and educating children (12%), economic difficulties (21.9%), and misunderstanding or ignoring foreigners (17.1%).
■ Have you ever been discriminated against in Korea?… 2 out of 10 people have experienced discrimination.
What is your perception of discrimination? Among foreigners staying in the country over the past year , 19.7%, or 2 out of 10 people , answered that they had experienced discrimination .
It will also be important to know in what way you have experienced안전놀이터 discrimination. We also analyzed the main causes.
The biggest reason was ‘country of origin’, which 58% of respondents who experienced discrimination cited as the reason. This was followed by Korean language ability (27.9%) and appearance (8.3%).
■ Where do you feel most discriminated against?… ‘Shops, banks, restaurants’
Then, in what places and services did foreigners feel most discriminated against?
A whopping 43% of foreigners responded that they felt discriminated against (severe discrimination + slight discrimination) in places where they received services, such as in stores, restaurants, banks, etc. , which was higher than in workplaces and workplaces (41.7%) .
The unexpected third place was ‘street or neighborhood (35.5%)’ . What’s impressive is that you may not use other places or services, but streets and neighborhoods are places you can’t avoid if you live in Korea. This means that there are many cases where people feel discrimination in places they cannot avoid.
In addition, ‘public institutions (23.8%)’ and ‘landlords or real estate agents (18.5%)’ followed. The lowest response at 11.1% was that they felt discriminated against at ‘school/university’.
■ Inevitable immigrant and multiracial society… “We need to prepare smartly.”
Just 10 years ago, there were cases where people were completely barred from entering the sauna because they were foreigners. It may be better than then, but the 2022 survey also revealed that we are still poor at accepting foreigners into our daily lives.
How should we treat foreigners when we meet them in the neighborhood or on the streets so that it is not discriminatory? The National Statistical Office survey does not include specific examples. Perhaps this is an area of culture, not a system, and we may need ‘sensitivity’ to be able to recognize the problem ourselves.
As of last year, the number of foreigners residing in Korea reached 1.75 million. The number of foreign workers has exceeded 800,000 since 2015. Recently, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the pilot introduction of Filipino domestic helpers. Considering that our country is approaching a country with a declining population, it is essential to prepare for an increase in immigrants and a multi-racial society.