Welfare Facilities and Happiness of the Elderly in Urban Korea

Authored by: Danya Kim , Jangik Jin

Handbook of Global Urban Health

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138206250
eBook ISBN: 9781315465456
Adobe ISBN:


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The number of elderly people is expected to substantially rise all over the world. In this context, policy-makers need to consider how the public will take care of its seniors over the coming decades. Welfare facilities are important places for seniors who live in an inner-city neighborhood because these facilities provide public meeting space, meals, recreational activities, protective supervision, and assistance with daily living. However, few studies have directly and empirically examined the relationship between existing welfare facilities managed by local communities and the happiness of the local elderly population. This research examines the welfare facility systems managed by 25 local governments in Seoul, South Korea using a longitudinal dataset of Seoul micro survey data and welfare facilities from 2005 through 2015. The data analysis shows that age and happiness have a negative relationship, and seniors’ happiness level is lower than that of other groups. Although 25 local governments in Seoul have provided welfare facilities, their growth rates have not kept pace with the growth rates of the elderly population. We suggest that attention should be given to redesigning social welfare policies to better address the needs of Seoul’s elderly.

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