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Stats paint picture of modern Korea

Posted August. 09, 2000 13:51,   


Korean workers` weekly average work hours are the longest in the world. The traffic accident death rate is one of the highest in the world. The percentage of cellular phone users is ranked sixth in the world.

These are some of the statistical features about the life of Koreans.

Work hours: Last year, the average work week of Korean workers was 50 hours. It was declining from 1995`s 49.2 hours to 48.4 hours in 1996, 47.8 hours in 1997 and 46.1 hours in 1998, but it is increasing again. The increase largely is attributed to increased operating ratios among manufacturing plants. But it is 8-10 hours longer than Japan`s 42.7 hours, 41.7 hours of the United States and 38.7 hours of Canada.

Traffic accidents: In 1998, 193 people out of every 1 million were killed by traffic accidents, which is nearly double the world`s average of 111. Countries like Malaysia (268) and Greece (210) show higher mortality rates than Korea. But it is much higher than the 151 of the United States, 144 of France, 95 of Germany and 86 of Japan.

Cellular phones: In 1999, one out of every two Koreans owned a cell phone. The number has increased explosively from 7% in 1996 to 15.7% in 1997 and 30.1% in 1998. Finland is ranked first in the world with 66.1%, followed by Norway`s 61.7%, Sweden`s 57.8%, Hong Kong`s 54.9%, Italy`s 52.8% and then Korea`s 50%.

Personal computers: In 1999, 18.2 PCs were owned for every 100 Koreans, and the ratio is increasing steadily. Still, it is poor compared with Singapore (52.7), the United States (51.1), Australia (47.1), Switzerland (46.2) and Sweden (45.1).

Doctors and nurses: In 1997, the number of doctors out of 10,000 population was 12, compared with 58 in Italy, 34 in Germany, 30 in France and 27 in the United States. Also, the number of nurses out of 10,000 population was 29, compared with Germany`s 95, Japan`s 74 and 83 of the United States.

Foreign Exchange Reserve: As of the end of 1999, Korea`s foreign exchange reserve amounted to US$74 billion, ranking seventh in the world. Japan has the world `s largest foreign exchange reserve, followed by China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Germany.

Energy Consumption: Per-capita energy consumption is 3.0 tons of energy in 1999, ranking 18th in the world. The United Arab Emirates ranked first with 19.5 TOE, followed by Kuwait, Singapore and the United States.