Go to contents

South’s Per Capita Income 15.5 Times Higher than the North’s

South’s Per Capita Income 15.5 Times Higher than the North’s

Posted December. 09, 2004 22:36,   


Last year’s South Korea’s per capita income was 15.5 times higher than that of the North Korea’s, enlarging the economic gap.

Furthermore, whereas South Korea has more men and North Korea more women, the continuation of “South Men, North Women” continues in the population structure.

According to the National Statistical Office’s “The South and the North Seen through Statistics,” South Korea’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita was $12,646 in 2003, 15.5 times more than the North’s $818.

South Korea’s GNI in 2003 was $606.1 billion, a 10.7 percent increase from the year before, while the North’s figure rose only 8.2 percent to $18.4 billion.

The South’s GNI was 11.4 times greater than the North’s in 1990; 23.1 times in 1995; 30.4 times in 2000; and 32.9 times more in 2003. An economic growth rate of 3.1 percent was seen in the South and 1.8 percent for the North. South Korea traded $372.64 billion, which is 156 times larger than the North’s $2.39 billion.

The big difference between the South and the North existed in industry-related indices as well: 662.1-fold in vehicle production; 60.2-fold in number of vehicles owned; 191.3-fold in crude oil import; 42.4-fold in crude steel production; and 6.3-fold in energy consumption per capita. However, North Korea had a higher production rate in underground mineral resources such as iron ore and coal.

In 2003, the South’s population was 47,925,000 and for the North, 22,522,000. The gender ratio, which shows the number of males per 100 females, was 101.4 for the South and 96.6 for the North. With a reunification, this ratio would be 99.8, solving the inequality problem.

It was revealed that trading between the two countries in 2003 was $724.22 million, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. The number of South Korean visitors to the North (excluding those to Mt. Geumgang) reached 15,280 in 2003, a 19.1 percent rise from the 12,825 from the previous year.

Yong Park parky@donga.com