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Korea, South (2006)

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Korea, South 2006 year

 Korea, South
Administrative divisions 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 7 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural)

provinces: Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto (North Cholla), Cholla-namdo (South Cholla), Ch'ungch'ong-bukto (North Ch'ungch'ong), Ch'ungch'ong-namdo (South Ch'ungch'ong), Kangwon-do, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto (North Kyongsang), Kyongsang-namdo (South Kyongsang)

metropolitan cities: Inch'on-gwangyoksi (Inch'on), Kwangju-gwangyoksi (Kwangju), Pusan-gwangyoksi (Pusan), Soul-t'ukpyolsi (Seoul), Taegu-gwangyoksi (Taegu), Taejon-gwangyoksi (Taejon), Ulsan-gwangyoksi (Ulsan)
Age structure 0-14 years: 18.9% (male 4,844,083/female 4,368,139)

15-64 years: 71.9% (male 17,886,148/female 17,250,862)

65 years and over: 9.2% (male 1,818,677/female 2,678,914) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Airports 107 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 69

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 21

1,524 to 2,437 m: 14

914 to 1,523 m: 11

under 914 m: 20 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 38

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 35 (2006)
Area total: 98,480 sq km

land: 98,190 sq km

water: 290 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Indiana
Background Korea was an independent kingdom for much of its millennia-long history. Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 14 times the level of North Korea. In 1993, KIM Yo'ng-sam became South Korea's first civilian president following 32 years of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Dae-jung and the North's leader KIM Jong Il.
Birth rate 10 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $195 billion

expenditures: $189 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Capital name: Seoul

geographic coordinates: 37 34 N, 127 00 E

time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Coastline 2,413 km
Constitution 17 July 1948
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Korea

conventional short form: South Korea

local long form: Taehan-min'guk

local short form: Han'guk

abbreviation: ROK
Death rate 5.85 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $153.9 billion (2005 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW

embassy: 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710

mailing address: US Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550

telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114

FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador LEE Tae-sik

chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600

FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205

consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
Disputes - international Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic maritime disputes with North Korea over the Northern Limit Line; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954
Economic aid - donor ODA, $423.3 million (2004)
Economy - overview Since the early 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies. Today its GDP per capita is equal to the lesser economies of the EU. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close government/business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-99 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. GDP plunged by 6.9% in 1998, then recovered 9.5% in 1999 and 8.5% in 2000. Growth fell back to 3.3% in 2001 because of the slowing global economy, falling exports, and the perception that much-needed corporate and financial reforms had stalled. Led by consumer spending and exports, growth in 2002 was an impressive 7%, despite anemic global growth. Between 2003 and 2005, growth moderated to about 4%. A downturn in consumer spending was offset by rapid export growth. In 2005, the government proposed labor reform legislation and a corporate pension scheme to help make the labor market more flexible, and new real estate policies to cool property speculation. Moderate inflation, low unemployment, an export surplus, and fairly equal distribution of income characterize this solid economy.
Electricity - consumption 321.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - production 342.1 billion kWh (2004)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m

highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
Environment - current issues air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing
Environment - international agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
Exchange rates South Korean won per US dollar - 1,024.1 (2005), 1,145.3 (2004), 1,191.6 (2003), 1,251.1 (2002), 1,291 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: President ROH Moo-hyun (since 25 February 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister HAN Myeong-sook (since 20 April 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers KIM Woo-sik (since 10 February 2006); KWON O-kyu (since 18 July 2006); KIM Shin-il (since 20 September 2006)

cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 19 December 2002 (next to be held in December 2007); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by president on prime minister's recommendation

election results: ROH Moo-hyun elected president; percent of vote - ROH Moo-hyun (MDP) 48.9%; LEE Hoi-chang (GNP) 46.6%; other 4.5%
Exports 0 kWh (2004)
Exports $288.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports 645,200 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Exports - partners China 21.8%, US 14.6%, Japan 8.5%, Hong Kong 5.5% (2005)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 3.3%

industry: 40.3%

services: 56.3% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 37 00 N, 127 30 E
Geography - note strategic location on Korea Strait
Heliports 540 (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 25% (2005 est.)
Imports 0 kWh (2004)
Imports $256 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports 21.11 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Imports 2.263 million bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Imports - partners Japan 18.5%, China 14.8%, US 11.8%, Saudi Arabia 6.2% (2005)
Independence 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Industrial production growth rate 5.9% (2005 est.)
Industries electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Infant mortality rate total: 6.16 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 6.54 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.8% (2005 est.)
International organization participation AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Irrigated land 8,780 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (justices appointed by president with consent of National Assembly); Constitutional Court (justices appointed by president based partly on nominations by National Assembly and Chief Justice of the court)
Labor force 23.53 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 6.4%

industry: 26.4%

services: 67.2% (2005 est.)
Land boundaries total: 238 km

border countries: North Korea 238 km
Land use arable land: 16.58%

permanent crops: 2.01%

other: 81.41% (2005)
Languages Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Legal system combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 243 in single-seat constituencies, 56 by proportional representation)

elections: last held 15 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2008; byelections held on 30 April 2005 and on 26 October 2005)

election results: percent of vote by party - Uri 51%, GNP 41%, DLP 3%, DP 3%, others 2%; seats by party - Uri 144, GNP 127, DP 11, DLP 9, ULD 3, independents 5

note: percent of vote is for 2004 general election; seats by party reflect results of April and October 2005 byelections involving six and four seats respectively; MDP became DP in May 2005; United Liberal Democrats (ULD) merged with GNP in February 2006. (2006)
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.04 years

male: 73.61 years

female: 80.75 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.9%

male: 99.2%

female: 96.6% (2002)
Location Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Map references Asia
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the Korea Strait

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: not specified
Merchant marine total: 669 ships (1000 GRT or over) 8,634,188 GRT/13,733,624 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 157, cargo 193, chemical tanker 98, container 81, liquefied gas 22, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 24, petroleum tanker 57, refrigerated cargo 17, roll on/roll off 6, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 6

foreign-owned: 22 (France 12, Japan 1, UK 2, US 7)

registered in other countries: 365 (Belize 4, Cambodia 23, China 2, Cyprus 1, Georgia 1, Honduras 6, Hong Kong 6, Indonesia 1, Liberia 3, Malaysia 1, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 291, Singapore 17, unknown 2) (2006)
Military branches Army, Navy, Republic of Korea Air Force (Han-guk Kong Goon), Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (coast guard) (2006)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $21.06 billion FY05 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.6% FY05 (2005 est.)
National holiday Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Nationality noun: Korean(s)

adjective: Korean
Natural hazards occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
Natural resources coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Pipelines gas 1,482 km; refined products 827 km (2006)
Political parties and leaders Democratic Labor Party or DLP [MOON Seong-hyun]; Democratic Party or DP [HAHN Hwa-kap]; Grand National Party or GNP [KANG Jae-sup]; People-Centered Party or PCP [SHIN Kook-hwan]; Uri Party [KIM Geun-tae]
Political pressure groups and leaders Federation of Korean Industries; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Korean National Council of Churches; Korean Traders Association; Korean Veterans' Association; National Council of Labor Unions; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Federation of Student Associations
Population 48,846,823 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line 15% (2003 est.)
Population growth rate 0.42% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 61, FM 150, shortwave 2 (2005)
Railways total: 3,472 km

standard gauge: 3,472 km 1.435-m gauge (1,361 km electrified) (2005)
Religions no affiliation 46%, Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, other 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 19 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: excellent domestic and international services

domestic: NA

international: country code - 82; 10 fiber-optic submarine cables - 1 Korea-Russia-Japan, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong, 3 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-China-Europe, 1 Korea-Japan-China-US-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 3 Inmarsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 23.745 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 38.342 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations terrestrial stations 43; cable operators 59; relay cable operators 190 (2005)
Terrain mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Total fertility rate 1.27 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 3.7% (2005 est.)
Waterways 1,608 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2006)
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