August 4th, 2011


June 3rd, 2009


Corea del Norte Corea del Sur
Esperanza de vida 63,81 años 78,72 años
Celulares 20 mil 46,5 millones
Caminos asfaltados 724 Km 80 mil Km
Autos hechos al año 5 mil 4,08 millones
PIB per capita 1.700 dólares 26 mil dólares

(La Tercera, 29 de mayo, pp. 10)


May 23rd, 2008

EU-Korea Trade Statistics

Fuente: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade


May 23rd, 2008

Korea in the 1950s was one of the poorest nations in the world. Over the past six decades, the country has risen to one of the world’s top 15 economies thanks to an export-oriented industry and is nearing $20,000 in per capita income.

Ships, cars and semiconductors are among several areas that Korea has secured global dominance. Most households in Korea have at least one car and a mobile phone and use the Internet, showing how far Korea has come in industrialization.

Modernization, however, has brought on headaches such as the world’s lowest birth rate and rapidly aging society, heavy spending for private education and income inequality.

Nearing $20,000 in per capita income

Korea last year had a gross domestic product of $887.4 billion and gross national income of $18,372, an incredible leap from the corresponding figures of $1.3 billion and $67 in 1953.

GDP exceeded $10 billion for the first time in 1972, $100 billion in 1986 and $500 billion in 1995. GNI went past $1,000 in 1977, $5,000 in 1989 and $10,000 in 1995.

LG Economic Research Institute says that if this year’s growth rate reaches 4.8 percent, GDP deflator 1.5 percent and the won-dollar exchange rate 931, per income capita will break the $20,000 barrier.

Average monthly income per urban household last year was 3.44 million won, up 575 times that in 1963 (5,990 won). Household expenditures also increased to an average of 2.68 million won from 6,330 won.

An export-oriented strategy has allowed the Korean economy to grow by leaps and bounds. Exports recorded just $22 million in 1948, but have since gone up 14,794 times to $325.465 billion last year. Imports have also skyrocketed over the same period, rising 1,487 times from $208 million to $309.383 billion.

Consequently Korea’s share of the world market has risen from 0.03 percent of exports and 0.27 percent of imports in 1960 to 2.7 percent in exports and 2.5 percent in imports in 2007, ranking among the world’s top ten trading nations.

The number of Korea’s export items increased from 712 in 1960 to 8,486 in 2005, a 12-fold jump. That of import items grew seven times from 1,439 to 10,014 over the same period.

The number of Korea’s export destinations has risen from 59 to 227 nations and that of importing nations from 50 to 222, covering just about every country on earth.

A closer look at export commodities over the years shows the differences in priorities at the time. In 1960, Korean exports were mostly low-priced goods under the category of primary commodities (45.4 percent) and light industrial materials (45.4 percent). By 2006, primary commodities took up just 1.6 percent and light industrial materials 7.7 percent of Korean exports. Cars, semiconductors, ships, information technology and other heavy and chemical industry products now account for more than 90 percent of exports, with IT products comprising 31 percent alone. This has boosted Korea’s image as a premier seller of high-tech products.

Population growth and plummeting birth rate

The population of Korea has shown a steady increase, growing from 20.2 million in 1949 to 30 million in 1967 and further to 40 million in 1984. 2007 saw 48.456 million Koreans in the country, 2.4 times that in 1949.

The nosedive in the birth rate and the rapid growth of the elderly, however, raised Korea’s senior citizen population from eight percent in 1055 to 55 percent in 2007, up 6.9 fold. The percentage of welfare spending for those aged 15 to 64 increased from six percent to 13.8 percent over the same period.

Economic growth naturally resulted in higher salaries, improved nutrition, advanced medical technology and other general services. This contributed to prolonging the average life expectancy from 59 for males and 66 for females in 1971 to 75 for males and 82 for females in 2007.

The number of households rose from 3.791 million in 1955 to 16.417 million in 2007, 4.3 times higher than five decades ago, but the average family size decreased from 5.5 to 2.8 due to the nuclear family effect.

The area of the country has grown 6.5 percent. The Republic of Korea measured up to 93,634? in 1949, but has widened a bit to 99,678? thanks to land reclamation projects.

The size of farmland showed little change, growing from 20,535? in 1960 to 20,547? in 2007, but the area of plains doubled in size from 1,205? to 2,575? over the same period.

Majority of households own a car

The housing supply recorded 81.3 percent in 1965, and showed a steady decrease through the late 1980s. After the 1990s, apartment construction grew rapidly due to the building of new cities around the country. In 2004, the housing supply ratio recorded 102.2 percent, exceeding saturation.

The number of car registrations jumped from around 18,000 in 1955 to 10 million during the late 1990s. By 2005, the number was 15.4 million. Only one out of 100 households had cars during the 1970s, with the number of car registrations hitting 46,000. In 2005, 90 percent of households owned a car. Of 14.6 million vehicles registered in the country that year, 10.8 million (73.9 percent) were passenger cars.

The number of phone users was 41,000 in 1949, or just two out of every 1,000 people in Korea. Now every one out of two people (22.7871 million) in the country use landline phones. With the arrival of the new millennium and spread of cell phones, about 758 people out of every 1,000, or 36.586 million people, are using phones.

High-speed or broadband Internet service, which was officially launched in 1999, had 11.292 million subscribers in 2004, accounting for 235 out of every 1,000 people. The number of domestic households using the Web was 92.7 percent in 2005, giving Korea the top ranking among member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Korean education has also shown impressive growth. In 1947, 95 percent of the population failed to finish elementary school but that figure dropped to 19.1 percent in 2005. The percentage of college graduates also rose over the same period from just 0.6 percent to 31.4 percent.

In 1952, the number of elementary students per class was 60.2, 41.8 for middle school and 37.9 for high school. Those figures were halved in 2005, with 25.1 students for elementary school, 19.4 for middle school and 15.1 for high school.

At the 2003 OECD Program for International Student Assessment, Korean students took second in reading, third in science and second in math.

Heavy spending on education remains a problem in Korea, however, as the country spent the second most among OECD nations in 2003. Korea also had the highest private education expenditures, spurring worry over negative side effects.

The number of hospitals increased from 4,306 in 1953 to 47,378 in 2004, an 11-fold jump. That of doctors increased 18 times from about 6,000 to 107,000 over the same period. The ratio of people per doctor decreased from 3,347 to 468 per doctor in 2004.

Korea, however, ranked 26th among the 30 OECD nations in public health spending at $591 per head. Only 4.4 percent of GDP went to cultural activities (18th) and leisure (19th), showing room for improvement.



May 23rd, 2008
View Today’s Economic Indicators (external link)

Fuente: Ministry of Finance and Economy – Republic of Korea


May 23rd, 2008

Inversión Extranjera DL 600 período 1974 – 2006

Principales Inversionistas período 1974 – 2006

Fuente: Comité de Inversiones Extranjeras – Chile


May 23rd, 2008

Ver Presentación PowerPoint

Fuente: Embajada de Corea – Invest Korea