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22 February, 2021updated 30 Oct 2021 05:04

Investing in South Korea: what you need to know

All of the key data and information needed when considering investing in South Korea.

By Carmen

As of 2021, South Korea has a population of 52 million, making it the 28th largest country in the world by this measure. There are 49.9% males and 50.1% females.

There are 24.3 million people employed in South Korea, with an unemployment rate of 4.3% – 1.1 million people.


South Korea is the tenth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $1.8trn. South Korea’s GDP has grown by 53% between 2010 and 2021 and is expected to grow by 24% by 2025.

As of 2021 there are 3.0 million students in tertiary education in South Korea, with 2.9 million students in secondary and 2.6 million in primary education. South Korea spent 4.8% of its GDP on education in 2019.

South Korea ranked fifth in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report (2020). In the 2019 report it finished fifth. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2019), South Korea finished 13th, after ranking 13th in 2018.

Public healthcare expenditure totalled $83.3bn and private healthcare expenditure equalled $56.1bn in 2018.

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The largest urban areas in South Korea are Seoul (9.7 million people), Busan (3.4 million) and Incheon (3 million).

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