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More than half of low-income families enjoy cultural event last year

Art/Culture 18:16 February 05, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- A record number of slightly more than five out of every 10 families in the lowest income bracket paid at least one visit to cultural and art events last year, government reports showed Wednesday.

According to the reports by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, 51.7 percent of families with a monthly income of 1 million won (US$840.70) or less attended at least one culture or art event in 2019, sharply up from 42.5 percent in 2018.

The corresponding figure for 2016 was 30.9 percent.

It is the first time the rate has passed the 50 percent mark since the survey began, the reports said.

The gap between the corresponding rates for the lowest and highest income brackets, accordingly, narrowed to 40.8 percentage points in 2019 from 58.6 percentage points recorded in 2016.

The overall rate of Koreans who paid at least one visit to museums, concerts or other cultural or art programs last year was 81.8 percent, up slightly from 81.5 percent a year earlier.

The average weekly leisure time for South Koreans, meanwhile, stood at 28.3 hours last year, compared to 27.1 hours a year earlier, a growth that is attributable to a new law passed last year to dramatically cut legal work hours.

The average monthly cost for leisure also posted an increase from 2018's 151,000 won to 156,000 won in 2019, the reports also showed.

Also last year, South Korean employees took 9.9 days off on paid vacation on average, up from 8.5 days recorded in 2017.

Culture Minister Park Yang-woo briefs reporters on Feb. 5, 2020. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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