Statistical information South Korea 1996South%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

Qatar Airways

South Korea - Introduction 1996
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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 1996
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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 reference

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

Extremes lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
Extremes highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m

Natural resources:

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 21%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 1%
Forests 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 1996
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45,482,291 (July 1996 est.)
45,553,882 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.02% (1996 est.)
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

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:
23% (male 5,531,032; female 4,962,915) (July 1996 est.)
24% (male 5,640,789; female 5,280,998) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
71% (male 16,374,678; female 15,910,846) (July 1996 est.)
71% (male 16,291,183; female 15,877,182) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
6% (male 1,014,649; female 1,688,171) (July 1996 est.)
5% (male 909,218; female 1,554,512) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.02% (1996 est.)
1.04% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
16.24 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
15.63 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.66 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
6.18 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.35 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
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
International agreements: party to_Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94; signed, but not ratified_Desertification, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.02 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:8.2 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
20.9 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 73.26 years (1996 est.); 70.89 years (1995 est.)
Male: 69.65 (1996 est.); 67.69 years (1995 est.)
Female: 77.39 years (1996 est.); 74.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.77 children born/woman (1996 est.)
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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 98%
Male: 99.3%
Female: 96.7%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

South Korea - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form:
Republic of Korea
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 Abbreviation:ROK

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 Dae-Jung (since 18 December 1997); election last held on 18 December 1997 (next to be held NA December 2001) 25 February 1993_18 December 1997 President KIM Yong-sam
Head of government: Prime Minister YI Su-song (since 15 December 1995) was appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; Deputy Prime Ministers NA Ung-pae (since 20 December 1995) and KWON O-ki (since 20 December 1995) were appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
Cabinet: State Council; appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Assembly (Kukhoe):Members elected for four-year terms; elections last held 11 April 1996 (next to be held NA 2000; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(299 total) NKP 139, NCNP 79, ULD 50, DP 15, independents 16

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, justices are appointed by the president subject to the consent of the National Assembly

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, OAS (observer), OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation

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 1996
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Economy overview: As one of the Four Dragons of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth. Three decades ago its GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is nine times India's, 14 times North Korea's, and already up with the lesser economies of the European Union. This success has been achieved by a unique combination of authoritarian government guidance of what is at bottom an essentially entrepreneurial process. The government has sponsored large-scale adoption of technology and management from Japan and other modern nations; has successfully pushed the development of export industries while encouraging the import of machinery and materials at the expense of consumer goods; and has pushed its labor force to a work effort seldom matched anywhere even in wartime. Real GDP grew by an average 10% in 1986-91, then paused to a "mere" 5% in 1992-93, only to move back up to 8% in 1994 and 9% in 1995. With a much higher standard of living and with a considerable easing of authoritarian controls, the work pace has softened. Growth rates have plunged in 1997 due to a valuta-crisis, probably because of the exhaustion of former growth opportunities and the need to deal with pollution and the other problems of success.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
6.3 (1996)
9% (1995)
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

Automobile production
Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 12.2% (1995 est.), 12.1% (1994 est.), accounts for 45% of GNP

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

Unemployment rate:
2% (1995 est.)
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: $69 billion
Expenditures: $65 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

total value. $125.4 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
$96.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994)

Electronic and electrical equipment

U.S. 19%
Japan 14%
EU 13%

Total value:
$135.1 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
$102.3 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

Electronics and electronic equipment
Transport equipment
Organic chemicals

Japan 24%
U.S. 22%
EU 13%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external:
$77 billion (1995 est.)
$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_787.27 (January 1996), 771.27 (1995), 803.45 (1994), 802.67 (1993), 780.65 (1992), 733.35 (1991), 707.76 (1990)

South Korea - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 137 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 2,847 kWh (1993)

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 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 16.6 million telephones (1993); excellent domestic and international services
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: fiber-optic submarine cable to China; satellite earth stations_3 Intelsat (2 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean Region)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Korea - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $17.4 billion, 3.3% of GNP (1996; $14 billion, 3.3% of GNP (1995 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

South Korea - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 105
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 20
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 13
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 54

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 20
15-24 to 2437 m: 13
914 to 1523 m: 4 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 54

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Petroleum products 455 km



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

Merchant marine
Total: 428 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,076,981 GRT/9,822,089 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 124, cargo 122, chemical tanker 21, combination bulk 3, combination ore/oil 1, container 59, liquefied gas tanker 12, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 61, refrigerated cargo 13, short-sea passenger 1, vehicle carrier 10

Ports and terminals

South Korea - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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