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Rich Spent 7.6 Times More on Private Education

Posted September. 21, 2009 08:49,   


The country’s top household income quintile in this year’s second quarter spent 7.6 times more than the lowest quintile on private education for children, a government report said yesterday.

Families in the high income bracket spent 312,535 won (258 U.S. dollars) per month on private education for their children, up 9.9 percent year-on-year.

The joint report by the National Statistical Office and the Bank of Korea said the lowest quintile spent 9.9 percent less than what they spent last year, going from 45,539 to 41,037 won (37 to 34 dollars).

The spending ratio was 7.6 in the second quarter for private education, the highest since 2003. The ratio rose from 5.8 in 2003 to 7.1 in 2006, and subsequently stayed at seven for the past two years. The relatively high rise in the ratio, however, shows that disparity in private education spending has grown significantly in the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

The top income quintile spent 27,595 won (23 dollars), or 6.2 times more, on grooming, entertainment and sports in the second quarter than the lowest quintile. Spending on watches and jewelry for high income earners averaged 6,282 won (five dollars), 5.9 times higher than lower-income families with 1,064 won (0.88 dollars).

The spending ratio for beauty parlors was 2.5, while that of book purchases grew from 3.7 to 5.2 year-on-year.

High income households spent a monthly average of 210,937 won (174 dollars) on car purchases, or 8.5 times higher than low income households (24,824 won or 21 dollars).

The spending ratio for fuel was 4.4 since high income households with medium or large-size cars were less affected by higher oil prices than their poorer counterparts, who were forced to drive less.