South Korea Facts


South Korea, Republic of Korea, State of East Asia; 99 270 km2, 51.6 million residents (2019).South Korea encompasses the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and is separated from North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) by a demilitarized zone. South Korea includes some 3,500 small islands off the coast in the south and west, of which 650 are inhabited. The largest of them is Cheju (1,825 km 2 ) at the far south. The capital is Seoul (10.4 million residents, 2014).

South Korea Country Flag

Country facts

  • Taehan min-guk / Republic of Korea
  • Country abbreviation: KR
  • Area: 99 270 km2
  • Population (2019): 51.6 million residents
  • Capital: Seoul
  • Main language: Korean
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State: Moon Jae In (President)
  • Head of Government: Chung Sye Kyun
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 31363
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 30,600
  • Coin unit: 1 won = 100 chon
  • Currency code: KRW
  • Country number (telephony): 82
  • Internet domain name: kr
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +8
  • National Day: August 15 (Proclamation of the Republic, 1948)

Nature

  • Land use: forest (64%), agricultural land (21%), other (15%)
  • Highest mountain: Halla (1,950 m above sea level)

Population

  • Population density (2019): 520 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): 0.0%; birthrate 6 ‰, deathrate 6 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (13%), 15-64 (72%), 65- (15%)
  • Average life expectancy (2019): men 80 years, women 86 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 3 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 48 million residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.903 (place 22 of 189)
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 82%
  • Most populous cities (2014): Seoul (10.4 million residents), Busan (3.6 million), Inchon (2.9 million)

Business

  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (2%), industry (39%), service (59%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 577,400 million
  • Main export products: semiconductors, vehicles, communication equipment
  • Main exporting countries: China, USA, Vietnam
  • Imports (2017): US $ 457,500 million
  • Main import products: oil, electronic equipment, gas
  • Main importing countries: China, Japan, USA
  • Railway network (2016): 4,000 km

South Korea is mountainous with the Taebaek mountains along the east coast, which is therefore straight and steep. The Sobaek Mountains are located in the southwest. The west coast, which faces the Yellow Sea, is, like the south coast, severely disintegrated with a large number of peninsulas and islands as well as inlets and sound. The climate is monsoon-influenced and temperate.

The president is the head of state and supreme responsible for the executive power. The president is elected for five years. Of Parliament’s 300 members in 2012, 246 were elected by universal suffrage for four years.

In the early 1960s, the country began to be transformed from agricultural to industrial and became one of Asia’s four “tigers” (along with Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan). The change took place with the help of foreign (mainly US and Japanese) capital, with an export-oriented development strategy and with strong state indirect influence and control of the market economy. In recent years, the country has faced growing competition from other Asian countries with lower pay levels. The business sector is dominated by the five large-scale industrial groups Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo, LG and SK.

South Korea Map

South Korea Map

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