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Korea, South (2007)

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Korea, South 2007 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: 18.3% (male 4,714,103/female 4,262,873)

15-64 years: 72.1% (male 18,004,719/female 17,346,594)

65 years and over: 9.6% (male 1,921,803/female 2,794,698) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Airports 105 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 68

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: 19 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 37

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 34 (2007)
Area total: 98,480 sq km

land: 98,190 sq km

water: 290 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Indiana
Background An independent Korean state or collection of states has existed almost continuously for several millennia. Between its initial unification in the 7th century - from three predecessor Korean states - until the 20th century, Korea existed as a single independent country. In 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became a protectorate of imperial Japan, and in 1910 it was annexed as a colony. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. 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 Young-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 9.93 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $219.5 billion

expenditures: $215.7 billion (2006 est.)
Capital name: Seoul

geographic coordinates: 37 33 N, 126 59 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; note - amended or rewritten nine times; current constitution approved on 29 October 1987
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 5.99 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $187.2 billion (2006 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, 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 incidents with North Korea in the Yellow Sea over the Northern Limiting Line, which South Korea claims as a maritime boundary; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954
Economic aid - donor ODA, $744 million (2005)
Economy - overview Since the 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 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 by 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 2006, growth moderated to about 4-5%. A downturn in consumer spending was offset by rapid export growth. Moderate inflation, low unemployment, an export surplus, and fairly equal distribution of income characterize this solid economy.
Electricity - consumption 352.5 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 366.2 billion kWh (2005)
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 - 955.3 (2006), 1,024.1 (2005), 1,145.3 (2004), 1,191.6 (2003), 1,251.1 (2002)
Executive branch chief of state: President ROH Moo-hyun (since 25 February 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister HAN Duck-soo (since 2 April 2007); 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 on 19 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 (2005)
Exports $331.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 644,100 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Exports - partners China 21.3%, US 13.3%, Japan 8.1%, Hong Kong 5.9% (2006)
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: 3.2%

industry: 39.6%

services: 57.2% (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5% (2006 est.)
Geographic coordinates 37 00 N, 127 30 E
Geography - note strategic location on Korea Strait
Heliports 536 (2007)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 25% (2005 est.)
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $302.6 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports 28.29 billion cu m (2005)
Imports 2.83 million bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Imports - partners Japan 16.8%, China 15.7%, US 11%, Saudi Arabia 6.7%, UAE 4.2% (2006)
Independence 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Industrial production growth rate 8% (2006 est.)
Industries electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Infant mortality rate total: 6.05 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.2% (2006 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, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA, MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, 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 23.98 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 6.4%

industry: 26.4%

services: 67.2% (2006 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; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats; 243 members elected in single-seat constituencies, 56 elected by proportional representation; to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 15 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2008)

election results: percent of vote by party - Uri 51%, GNP 41%, DLP 3%, DP 3%, others 2%; seats by party - Uri 141, GNP 127, DP 12, DLP 9, PFP 5, independents 5

note: percent of vote is for 2004 general election; seats by party reflect results of 2005 and 2006 by-elections; MDP became DP in May 2005; United Liberal Democrats (ULD) merged with GNP in February 2006
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.23 years

male: 73.81 years

female: 80.93 years (2007 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: 738 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,636,466 GRT/17,371,943 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 187, cargo 202, carrier 1, chemical tanker 119, container 81, liquefied gas 26, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 21, petroleum tanker 57, refrigerated cargo 19, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 4, vehicle carrier 8

foreign-owned: 22 (China 2, France 8, Japan 1, Sweden 2, UK 1, US 7, Vietnam 1)

registered in other countries: 386 (Belize 4, Cambodia 29, China 1, Cyprus 2, Greece 2, Honduras 6, Hong Kong 6, Indonesia 1, Liberia 4, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 3, Netherlands 1, Panama 316, Russia 1, Singapore 7, unknown 4) (2007)
Military branches Army, Navy, Republic of Korea Air Force (Han-guk Kong Goon), Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (coast guard) (2006)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.7% (2006)
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 (2007 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 [PARK Sang-chun]; Grand National Party or GNP [KANG Jae-sup]; People-First Party or PFP [SHIN Kook-hwan and SIM Dae-pyung]; Uri Party [Chung Sye-kyun]
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 49,044,790 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 15% (2003 est.)
Population growth rate 0.394% (2007 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 (1,342 km electrified) (2006)
Religions Christian 26.3% (Protestant 19.7%, Roman Catholic 6.6%), Buddhist 23.2%, other or unknown 1.3%, none 49.3% (1995 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.106 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.038 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.688 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 19 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: excellent domestic and international services

domestic: NA

international: country code - 82; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and US; 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 26.866 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 40.197 million (2006)
Television broadcast stations 43 (plus 59 cable operators and 190 relay cable operators) (2005)
Terrain mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Total fertility rate 1.28 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 3.3% (2006 est.)
Waterways 1,608 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2007)
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