Statistical information South Korea 1995South%20Korea

Map of South Korea | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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South Korea in the World
South Korea in the World


South Korea - Introduction 1995
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Background: At the end of World War II, the US and the Soviet Union agreed that US troops would accept the surrender of Japanese forces south of the 38th parallel and the Soviet Union would do so in the north. In 1948, the UN proposed nationwide elections; after P'yongyang's refusal to allow UN inspectors in the north, elections were held in the south and the Republic of Korea was established. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established the following month in the north. Communist North Korean forces invaded South Korea in 1950. US and other UN forces intervened to defend the South and Chinese forces intervened on behalf of the North. After a bitter three-year war, an armistice was signed in 1953, establishing a military demarcation line near the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved amazing economic growth, with per capita output rising to 13 times the level in the North.

South Korea - Geography 1995
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Location: Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, south of North Korea

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAsia

Total area total: 98,480 km²
Land: 98,190 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Indiana

Land boundaries: total 238 km, North Korea 238 km

Coastline: 2,413 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: not specified
Territorial sea: 12 nm; 3 nm in the Korea Strait

Climate: temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter

Terrain: mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south


Natural resources: coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 21%
Permanent crops: 1%
Meadows and pastures: 1%
Forest and woodland: 67%
Other: 10%

Irrigated land: 13,530 km² (1989)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


South Korea - People 1995
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Population: 45,553,882 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 1.04% (1995 est.)

Noun: Korean(s)
Adjective: Korean

Ethnic groups: homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)

Languages: Korean, English widely taught in high school

Religions: Christianity 48.6%, Buddhism 47.4%, Confucianism 3%, pervasive folk religion (shamanism), Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) 0.2%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 24% (female 5,280,998; male 5,640,789)
15-64 years: 71% (female 15,877,182; male 16,291,183)
65 years and over: 5% (female 1,554,512; male 909,218) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.04% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 15.63 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.18 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.9 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air pollution in large cities; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; driftnet fishing
Current issues natural hazards: occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; earthquakes in southwest
Current issues international agreements: party to - Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 20.9 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 70.89 years
Male: 67.69 years
Female: 74.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.66 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
Total population: 96%
Male: 99%
Female: 94%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

South Korea - Government 1995
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Korea
Conventional short form: South Korea
Local long form: Taehan-min'guk
Local short form: none
Note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Hanguk" to refer to their country

Government type: republic

Capital: Seoul

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 6 special cities* (jikhalsi, singular and plural; Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto, Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Inch'on-jikhalsi*, Kangwon-do, Kwangju-jikhalsi*, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto, Kyongsang-namdo, Pusan-jikhalsi*, Soul-t'ukpyolsi*, Taegu-jikhalsi*, Taejon-jikhalsi*

Dependent areas

Independence: 15 August 1948

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1948)

Constitution: 25 February 1988

Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President KIM Yong-sam (since 25 February 1993); election last held on 18 December 1992 (next to be held NA December 1997); results - KIM Yong-sam (DLP) 41.9%, KIM Tae-chung (DP) 33.8%, CHONG Chu-yong (UPP) 16.3%, other 8%
Head of government: Prime Minister YI Hong-ku (since 17 December 1994); Deputy Prime Minister HONG Chae-yong (since 4 October 1994) and Deputy Prime Minister KIM Tok (since 23 December 1994)
Cabinet: State Council; appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly Kukhoe: elections last held on 24 March 1992; results - DLP 38.5%, DP 29.2%, Unification National Party (UNP) 17.3% (name later changed to UPP), other 15%; seats - (299 total) DLP 149, DP 97, UNP 31, other 22; the distribution of seats as of January 1994 was DLP 172, DP 96, UPP 11, other 20
Note: the change in the distribution of seats reflects the fluidity of the current situation where party members are constantly switching from one party to another

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador PAK Kun-u
In the us chancery: 2,450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 939-5,600
In the us consulates general: Agana (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador James T. LANEY
From the us embassy: 82 Sejong-Ro, Chongro-ku, Seoul
From the us mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 15,550, Seoul; APO AP 96,205-0001
From the us telephone: [82] (2) 397-4,114
From the us FAX: [82] (2) 738-8,845
From the us consulates: Pusan

Flag descriptionflag of South%20Korea: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

South Korea - Economy 1995
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Economy overview: The driving force behind the economy's dynamic growth has been the planned development of an export-oriented economy in a vigorously entrepreneurial society. Real GDP increased more than 10% annually between 1986 and 1991. This growth ultimately led to an overheated situation characterized by a tight labor market, strong inflationary pressures, and a rapidly rising current account deficit. As a result, in 1992, economic policy focused on slowing the growth rate of inflation and reducing the deficit. Annual growth slowed to 5%, still above the rate in most other countries of the world, and recovered to 6.3% in 1993. The economy expanded by 8.3% in 1994, driven by booming exports.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 8.3% (1994)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 8% of GDP and employs 21% of work force (including fishing and forestry; principal crops - rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; livestock and livestock products - cattle, hogs, chickens, milk, eggs; self-sufficient in food, except for wheat; fish catch of 2.9 million metric tons, seventh-largest in world

Industries: electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: 12.1% (1994 est.), accounts for about 45% of GNP

Labor force: 20 million
By occupation servicesandother: 52%
By occupation mining and manufacturing: 27%
By occupation agriculture fishing forestry: 21% (1991)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 2% (November 1994)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $63 billion
Expenditures: $63 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $96.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
Commodoties: electronic and electrical equipment, machinery, steel, automobiles, ships, textiles, clothing, footwear, fish
Partners: US 26%, Japan 17%, EU 14%

Imports: $102.3 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
Commodoties: machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains
Partners: Japan 26%, US 24%, EU 15%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $44.1 billion (1993)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: South Korean won (W) per US$1 - 790.48 (January 1995), 803.44 (1994), 802.67 (1993), 780.65 (1992), 733.35 (1991), 707.76 (1990)

South Korea - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 137 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 2,847 kWh (1993)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

South Korea - Communication 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 13.3 million telephones; excellent domestic and international services
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: 3 INTELSAT (2 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) earth stations

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Korea - Military 1995
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $14 billion, 3.3% of GNP (1995 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

South Korea - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 114
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 22
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 10
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 14
With paved runways under 914 m: 63
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 22
15-24 to 2437 m: 10
914 to 1523 m: 14
Under 914 m: 63

Airports with unpaved runways
914 to 1523 m: 4


Pipelines: petroleum products 455 km



Waterways: 1,609 km; use restricted to small native craft

Merchant marine
Total: 412 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,129,796 GRT/9,985,197 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 123, cargo 125, chemical tanker 17, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 1, container 61, liquefied gas tanker 13, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 51, refrigerated cargo 9, short-sea passenger 1, vehicle carrier 9

Ports and terminals

South Korea - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: Demarcation Line with North Korea; Liancourt Rocks claimed by Japan

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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