70 Important Korean Statistics for 2020


This post covers some interesting Korean statistics.

You’ll find hand-picked statistics covering:

  • Economics
  • Business trends
  • Demographics
  • Gender
  • Tourism
  • Education

Let’s check them out!

70 Important Korean Statistics for 2020

South Korea is evolving at a rapid pace.

Its economy is still going strong in the face of shifting demographics, shrinking birth rates and an ageing population. With key exports including semiconductors, ships and pop culture, South Korea has become a global economic powerhouse.

While roughly 50% of the population still lives in Seoul and its surrounding suburbs, urbanization has been giving way to new cities since the 1980s.

Top-down decision making in the workplace and government is gradually clashing with rising individualism. Younger generations are more interested in daily quality of life, since the dream of homeownership seems unattainable to most.

Read on to find out more interesting changes in Korea.

Korean GDP in 2020 is on track to be 2.307 trillion USD. 2019 GDP was 2.32 trillion USD.

(Statista)

South Korea has the 4th largest economy in Asia and the 10th largest in the world.

(Korean Herald)

South Korean GDP grew at an average rate of 4.05% from 2000 to 2019.

(Lingua Asia)

The economically active population contracted to 28,116,000 in October, which decreased 257,000 or 0.9% year-on-year.

The labor force participation rate stood at 62.7% in October, down 0.9% year-on-year.

(Kostat)

The number of employed totaled 27,088,000 in October, which went down 421,000 or 1.5% year-on-year.

 (Kostat)

The employment to population ratio decreased to 60.4% in October, down 1.3% year-on-year.

(Kostat)

The number of unemployed totaled 1,028,000 people in October, which increased 164 thousand or 19.0% year-on-year.

The unemployment rate reached 3.7% in October, up 0.7% year-on-year.

(Kostat)

The economically inactive population consisted of 16,736,000 people in October, increasing 508,000 or 3.1% year-on-year.

(Kostat)

Business Trends


Online shopping growth is accelerating with no signs of slowing down.

Online shopping transactions rose to 14.7208 trillion won in September 2020, up 30.7% from September 2019. Mobile shopping transactions shot up to 9.5332 trillion won in September 2020, rising 30.9% from September 2019.

(Kostat)

Compared to August 2020, online and mobile shopping transactions grew by 2.6% and 1.7%, respectively.

Mobile shopping transaction represented 64.8% of the total online shopping transactions, which went up by 0.1% from 64.7% in September 2019.

(Kostat)

The Consumer Price Index held steady at 105.61(2015=100) in October 2020. The index decreased 0.6 percent from the preceding month and rose 0.1 percent from the same month the previous year.

(Kostat)

The Consumer Price Index, excluding food and energy, shrank to 105.22 in October 2020. The index decreased 0.7 percent from the preceding month and fell 0.3 percent from the same month the previous year.

(Kostat)

In September, the Index of Services rose by 0.3% month-on-month due to the increase in ‘Wholesale and retail trade’ and ‘Transportation and storage’, despite the decrease in ‘Financial and insurance activities’ and ‘Accommodation and food service activities’.

(Kostat)

In September, the Index of Services remained the same year-on-year due to the rise in ‘Financial and insurance activities’ and ‘Wholesale and retail trade’, in spite of the drop in ‘Accommodation and food service activities’ and ‘Transportation and storage’.

(Kostat)

Demographics


As the Korean population is starting to age and birth rates are shrinking, the foreign population is increasing gradually.

The total population in South Korea in 2019 was 51,779,203.

(Kosis)

Total male population in South Korea in 2019 was 25,952,070.

(Kosis)

Total female population in South Korea in 2019 was 25,827,133.

(Kosis)

In 2019, the number of marriages was 239,200, which decreased by 7.2% (-18,500) from 2018.

(Kostat)

In 2019, the number of divorces was 110,800, which increased by 2.0% (2,100) from 2018.

(Kostat)

There were 295,110 deaths in 2019. The crude death rate was 574.8 per 100,000 people.

(Kostat)

The three leading causes of death were cancer, heart diseases and pneumonia. These 3 causes comprised 45.9% of total deaths.

(Kostat)

The death rate for Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer patients showed a year-on-year increase. On the other hand, the death rate for respiratory tuberculosis and transport accidents showed a year-on-year decrease.

(Kostat)

Seoul recorded the lowest age-standardized death rate at 263.6 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Sejong City (285.3).

(Kostat)

How many people live in Seoul in 2020?

Seoul’s 2020 population is estimated at 9,963,452. It has grown 10-fold since 1950, when the population was 1,021,031. Seoul has added 66,593 people since 2015, which is a 0.13% annual change. These population figures are from the UN World Urbanization Prospects. They include Seoul’s population along with adjacent suburban areas (수도권).

Foreigner Statistics

Total foreign population in South Korea in 2019 was 1,778,918.

(Kosis)

Total male foreign population in South Korea in 2019 was 1,017,408.

(Kosis)

Total female foreign population in South Korea in 2019 was 761,510.

(Kosis)

Total foreign population living in Seoul in 2019 was 390,177.

(Kosis)

Percentage of high school students from multicultural families is South Korea is 0.8% as of 2019, up from 0.4% in 2014.

(KESS)

Percentage of middle school students from multicultural families in South Korea is 1.7% as of 2019, up from 0.7% in 2014.

(KESS)

Percentage of elementary school students from multicultural families in South Korea is 3.8% as of 2019, up from 1.8% in 2014.

(KESS)

6.7% of university teachers were foreigners in South Korea in 2017, up from 2.4% in 2000.

(KESS)

3.8% of junior college teachers were foreigners in South Korea in 2017, up from 2% in 2000.

(KESS)

5,528 teachers in tertiary education were foreigners in South Korea in 2017, up from 1,373 in 2000.

(KESS)

The number of marriages between Koreans and foreign spouses rose 4.2% from 2018. The number of divorces with foreign spouses decreased by 3.4% from 2018.

(Kostat)

Immigrant marriages totaled 23,773 cases in 2018, increasing by 8.5% (1,856 cases) from 2017.

(Kostat)

Immigrant divorces totaled 10,254 cases in 2018, down 0.5% (53 cases) from 2017.

(Kostat)

Live births of immigrants totaled 18,079 people in 2018, down 2.0% (361) from 2017.

(Kostat)

In 2019, international migration was a net positive (Incoming migrants – Outgoing migrants) of 32,000 people. This figure declined by 124,000 from 2018.

(Kostat)

Both incoming migration and outgoing migration of Koreans recorded a year-on-year decrease. Incoming migration of foreigners dropped by 11.5%, while outgoing migration rose by 16.6%.

(Kostat)

Compared to 2018, Thai nationals showed a year-on-year decrease in positive net migration. Chinese nationals changed a positive net migration into negative net migration.

(Kostat)

Birth Statistics

There were 302,700 live births in 2019, down by 24,000 (-7.4%) from 2018.

(Kostat)

The fertility rate showed a year-on-year decrease in all age groups, excluding mothers aged 40-49.

(Kostat)

The average age of mothers giving birth to a child was 33.0 years in 2019, up 0.2 years from 2018.

(Kostat)

Compared to 2018, live births of second children dropped by 11,000 (-9.5%), the highest decrease.

(Kostat)

Sejong City (세종시) had the highest total fertility rate at 1.47 children per woman, followed by Jeonnam (전남) at 1.23. Seoul recorded the lowest fertility rate at 0.72 children per woman, followed by Busan (0.83).

(Kostat)

Elderly Demographics

The Korean population 65 years old or higher was 7.685 million, or 14.9% of the total population in 2019.

(Kostat)

The Korean population 65 years old or higher is expected to be 19.007 million in 2050.

(Kostat)

The divorce and remarriage numbers of Korean population 65 years old or higher increased 2.5% year-on-year in 2018.

(Kostat)

22.8% of the Korean population 65 years old or higher thought they were healthy in 2018.

(Kostat)

The cost of medical expenses for the Korean population 65 years old or higher increased by 14.7% from 2017-2018.

(Kostat)

In 2019, 64.9% of the Korean population 55-79 years old desired to work in the future.

(Kostat)

In 2019, 45.9% of the Korean population 55-79 years old were pensioners. Their average monthly pension was 610,000 KRW.

(Kostat)

In 2018, 88.8% of the Korean population 60-69 years old used the internet, up from 59.6% in 2015. Usage rates were 38.6% for those 70 years old or higher, up from 17.9% in 2015.

(Kostat)

Housing Demographics

Total households in South Korea in 2019 were 20,891,348.

(Kosis)

Total foreign households in South Korea in 2019 were 531,431.

(Kosis)

Total number of housing units in South Korea in 2019 was 18,126,954.

(Kosis)

Total number of detached dwelling housing units in South Korea in 2019 was 3,917,683.

(Kosis)

Total number of apartment units in South Korea in 2019 was 11,287,048.

(Kosis)

Total number of row house (연립주택) units in South Korea in 2019 was 5,459.

(Kosis)

Total number of living quarters other than housing units in South Korea in 2019 was 5,084.

(Kosis)

Gender <Women>


Women are taking a larger role in society with increased participation in the workforce, education and politics.

Korean female population in 2019 was 25,827,133, which was 49.87% of the total population (51,779,203).

(Lingua Asia)

The proportion and number of female household heads in Korea rose to 31.9% with 6,487,000 households in 2020, which increased compared to 26.1% in 2010 and 29.4% in 2015.

(Kostat)

Female and male employment rate by year: Female employment rates were 47.8% in 2009, 49.7% in 2014 and 51.6% in 2019. Male employment rates were 70.2% in 2009, 71.7% in 2014 and 70.7% in 2019.

(Kostat)

Ratio of female employees by occupation in 2019: 23.3% were experts and related workers, 20.2% were office workers, 17.8% were service providers, 15.1% were simple labor workers, 13.1% were salespeople, and 0.5% were managers.

(Kostat)

Ratio of female members of the National Assembly (Korean parliament) by year: 1% in 1992, 9% in 1996, 12.8% in 2000, 13% in 2004, 13.7% in 2008, 15.7% in 2012, 17% in 2016 and 19% in 2020.

(National Election Commission Statistics DB)

Ratio of female ministers by year: 5% in 2008, 12.5% in 2010, 11.1% in 2012, 11.8% in 2014, 5.9% in 2015, 9.1% in 2017, 22.2% in 2019, and 33.3% in 2020.

(National Election Commission Statistics DB)

Changes in work and family priorities in 2019: 49.5% of women said “work and family are both important” (8.3% increase compared to 2011), 40.3% of men said the same (11% increase compared to 2011).

(Kostat)

Number of women who left their career was reduced from 22.2% (2,164,000 women) in 2014 to 19.2% (1,699,000 women) in 2019.

(Kostat)

Among the women who did leave their career, 38.2% did so for childcare, 34.4% for marriage, and 22.6% for pregnancy and childbirth in 2019.

(Kostat)

Percentage of women who attended tertiary education (undergraduate and graduate level) in South Korea is 44.6% as of 2019, up from 38.3% in 2000.

(KESS)

Percentage of women who attended a university of education (교육대학교) in South Korea is 68.3% as of 2019, down from 71.9% in 2000.

(KESS)

Percentage of female teachers as of 2019:

  • Kindergarten: 98.4%
  • Elementary school: 77.1
  • Middle school: 70.1
  • High school: 53.5%
  • Special school: 69.0%
  • University: 23.8%
  • University of education: 29.1%
  • Junior college: 40.1%

(KESS)

Tourism


Korean tourism has been skyrocketing in popularity since 2000.

Inbound tourism to South Korea has more than tripled since 2000.

(Lingua Asia)

17,502,756 people visited South Korea in 2019, up from 5,321,792 in 2000. They spent an estimated total of 21,506,300,000 USD.

(KTO)

278,751 people visited South Korea by cruise in 2019.

(KTO)

28,714,247 Koreans traveled abroad in 2019, up from 5,508,242 in 2000. They spent an estimated total of 28,855,400,000 USD.

(KTO)

There was a net deficit in tourism dollars spent of -7,349,100,000 USD in 2019.

(KTO)

Education


Education has been a priority in Korea since the Joseon Dynasty. It’s not surprising that Korea ranks highly in nearly every aspect of education.

Korean boys are ranked 3rd in Mathematics (PISA) among OECD countries.

(OECD)

Korean girls are ranked 1st in Mathematics (PISA) among OECD countries.

(OECD)

Koreans spent 10,109 USD per person on education in 2015.

(OECD)

South Koreans have a 69% attainment rate of tertiary education (undergraduate and graduate level), the highest rate among OECD countries.

(OECD)

South Korea has 20,938 kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools as of 2017.

(KESS)

South Korea has 430 tertiary schools as of 2017. 226 universities,158 junior colleges and 46 graduate schools.

(KESS)

South Korea has a 100% advancement rate from elementary to middle school as of 2017.

(KESS)

South Korea has a 99.7% advancement rate from middle school to high school as of 2017.

(KESS)

Employment rates among junior college graduates in South Korea is 69.8% as of 2017.

(KESS)

Employment rates among university graduates in South Korea is 62.6% as of 2017.

(KESS)

Employment rates among high school graduates in South Korea is 24.9% as of 2019.

(KESS)

Discontinue (drop out) rates among junior college attendees in South Korea is 7.7% as of 2016.

(KESS)

Discontinue (drop out) rates among university attendees in South Korea is 4.1% as of 2016.

(KESS)

Discontinue (drop out) rates among high school attendees in South Korea is 1.4% as of 2016.

(KESS)

Number of students per class (class size) in high school in South Korea is 28.2 as of 2017, down from 42.7 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per class (class size) in middle school in South Korea is 26.4 as of 2017, down from 38 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per class (class size) in elementary school in South Korea is 22.3 as of 2017, down from 35.8 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per class (class size) in kindergarten in South Korea is 19 as of 2017, down from 26.3 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per teacher in junior college in South Korea is 52.2 as of 2019, down from 78 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per teacher at university in South Korea is 31.8 as of 2019, down from 44.4 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per teacher in high school in South Korea is 10.6 as of 2019, down from 19.9 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per teacher in middle school in South Korea is 11.7 as of 2019, down from 20.1 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per teacher in elementary school in South Korea is 14.6 as of 2019, down from 28.7 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of students per teacher in kindergarten in South Korea is 11.9 as of 2019, down from 19.5 in 2000.

(KESS)

Number of South Korean elementary school students studying abroad was 4,399 in 2018, 16.2 per 10,000 students.

(KESS)

Number of South Korean middle school students studying abroad was 2,893 in 2018, 21.7 per 10,000.

(KESS)

Number of South Korean high school students studying abroad was 1,785 in 2018, 11.6 per 10,000.

(KESS)

Out of the total 3,437,309 tertiary education students in South Korea in 2017:

  • 766,713 attended national universities
  • 26,901 attended public universities
  • 2,643,695 attended private universities

(KESS)

Out of the total 3,437,309 tertiary education students in South Korea in 2017:

  • 766,713 majored in Humanities
  • 908,329 majored in Social Sciences
  • 233,692 majored in Education
  • 880,286 majored in Engineering
  • 344,696 majored in Natural Sciences
  • 301,207 majored in Medical Science and Pharmacology
  • 372,128 majored in Art and Physical Education

(KESS)

South Korea had an IMD International Competitiveness ranking of 37 in 2017, up from 31 in 2012.

(KESS)

Conclusion

South Korea is changing at light speed.

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Let us know which statistics you’d like to know in the comments!

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