Source
Central bank

Bank of Korea

International Reserves

USD 363.3 billion (2015)

International Monetary Fund (IMF), data retrieved January 2017

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

USD 1,521.0 billion (2017, estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

Intl$ 2,029.9 billion (2017, estimate)

Real GDP growth
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
5.2% 5.5% 2.8% 0.7% 6.5% 3.7% 2.3%
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*    
2.9% 3.3% 2.6% 2.7% 3%    

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

USD 29,806.2 (2017, estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

Intl$ 39,778.1 (2017, estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2017*
0.69% 1.26% 1.59% 1.69% 1.6%

*Estimate

 
 
Source
GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 2.3% 
  • industry: 37.6% 
  • services: 60.2%

(2016 estimate)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)

4.3% (2014)

OECD, data retrieved January 2017

Inflation
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
1.3% 1.3% 0.7% 1.0% 1.9%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
3.1% 3.5% 3.6% 3.6% 3.3%

*Estimate

Household saving rates

7.2% (Total, 2014)

 

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
33.8% 35.9% 37.9% 38.9% 39.2%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
0.7% 0.4% 0.3% 0.8% 1.1%

*Estimate

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AA

Moody's: Aa2

Standard & Poor's / Moody's (Updated January 2017)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2013 2014 2015
USD 1234.5 billion USD 1212.8 billion USD 1231.2 billion
Largest companies

Samsung Electronics, Korea Electric Power, Hyundai Motor, SK Holdings, Shinhan Financial Group, Samsung Life Insurance, KIA Motors, Hyundai Mobis, KB Financial Group, Cheil Industries, SK Hynix, Samsung Fire & Marine, SK Innovation, SK Telecom, LG Chem, Posco, Woori Bank, Hana Financial Group, Industrial Bank of Korea, LG Display, Hyundai Steel, LG Electronics, Hyundai Heavy Industries, KT Corp, LG Corp, Hanwha Corp, Lotte Shopping, S-Oil, Lotte Chemical, Korea Gas, Dongbu Insurance, Doosan, GS Holdings, Hyundai Engineering, KT&G, CJ Corp, Amorepacific, BS Financial Group, Samsung SDS, Hyundai Marine & Fire, E-mart, Hyosung, Naver, LG Household & Health Care, DSME, Korean Air, Hyundai Glovis, Meritz Financial Group, Entermate, LIG Insurance, Hankook Tire, Samsung SDI, Korea Zinc, Samsung Heavy Industries, CJ Cheiljedang, LG Uplus, SK Networks, DGB Financial Group, Pacific Corp, Korea Investment Holdings, NH Investment & Securities, GS Engineering, Daewoo Securities, JB Financial Group, LG International, Kangwon Land, Hanwha Chemical.

 
 
Source
Current account balance

USD 89.8 billion (2017 estimate)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

5.9% (2017 estimate)

Exports as percent of GDP (Exports of goods and services)

45.9% (2015)

Shares in world total merchandising export

3.2% (2015)

Shares in world total commercial services export

2.0% (2015)

Total exports

USD 509.0 billion (2016 estimate)

Export commodities

Semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat display displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers

Total imports

USD 405.1 billion (2016 estimate)

 
 
Source
Import commodities

Crude oil/petroleum products, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemical, textiles

Exports - major partners

China 26%, US 13.3%, Hong Kong 5.8%, Vietnam 5.3%, Japan 4.9% (2015)

Imports - major partners

China 20.7%, Japan 10.5%, US 10.1%, Germany 4.8%, Saudi Arabia 4.5% (2015)

FDI inflows
2013 2014 2015
USD 12,767 million USD 9,274 million USD 5,042 million
FDI outflows
2013 2014 2015
USD 28,360 million USD 28,039 million USD 27,640 million
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser
2012 2013 2014 2015
USD 5713.9 million USD 4027.0 million USD 3305.4 million USD 563.0 million
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2014

N/A

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2015

Investor Group, Tesco PLC-Homeplus Group, Korea, Republic of, USD 6.4 billion / Investor Group, Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp, Korea, Republic of, USD 3.5 billion

Best countries for doing business

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

Overall ranking: 5 out of 190 countries (2017)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 11 out of 190 countries

Enforcing Contracts: 1 out of 190 countries

Registering Property: 39 out of 190 countries

Getting Credit: 44 out of 190 countries

Protecting Minority Investors: 13 out of 190 countries

Trading Across Borders: 32 out of 190 countries

Paying Taxes: 23 out of 190 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 31 out of 190 countries

Getting Electricity: 1 out of 190 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 4 out of 190 countries

Global competitiveness ranking

26 out of 138 countries

(2016-2017)

Index of Economic Freedom

Ranking: 27 / Score: 71.74 (Mostly free) (2016)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed)

 
 
Source
Time zone

UTC+9

Total area

 99,720 sq km

Capital

Seoul

Currency

South Korean won (KRW)

Government type

Presidential republic

Languages

Korean, English (widely taught in junior high and high school)

Religions

Christian 31.6% (Protestant 24.0%, Catholic 7.6%), Buddhist 24.2%, other or unknown 0.9%, none 43.3% (2010 est.)

Total population
1990 2000 2010 2016* 2021*
42.869 million 47.008 million 49.41 million 50.823 million 51.865 million

*Estimate 

 
 
Source
Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2015
28% 57% 80% 83%
Population median age

41.2 years (2016 estimate)

Population growth rate

0.53% (2016 estimate)

Life expectancy

82.4 years (2016 estimate)

Literacy

N/A

% of population living on less than $3.10 a day

N/A

Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

N/A

Freedom House rating

Political Rights: 2
Civil Liberties: 2 (2017)                         

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free rating)

Source
Total telephone subscribers as % of population

Fixed 58.06%   Mobile 118.46% (2015)
(fixed-telephone subscribers and mobile-cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

89.65% (2015)

Mercer Cost of living index

Seoul: 15th (2016)

CO2 emissions

11.8 (2013)

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