Browse a full set of economic indicators

North Korea

Includes North Korea real Gross Domestic Product growth rate, with latest forecasts and historical data, GDP per capita, GDP composition and breakdown by sector.

Browse additional economic indicators and data sets, selected by Global Finance editors, to learn more about North Korea economic outlook, debt to GDP ratio, international trade performance and population trends. Rankings of North Korea best banks and safest banks are also available.

Basic Information

Government Type: Dictatorship, single-party state; official state ideology of “Juche” or “national self-reliance”

Capital City: Pyongyang

GDP & Economic Information

Macroeconomy & Sovereign Data

Central Bank N/A
Currency North Korean won (KPW) per US dollar (average)
International Reserves N/A
Gross Domestic Product – GDP N/A
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) N/A

GDP Data

Real GDP growth N/A
GDP per capita – current prices N/A
GDP per capita – PPP N/A
GDP (PPP) – share of world total N/A
GDP – composition by sector agriculture: 22.5%
industry: 47.6%
services: 29.9%
(2017 estimate)
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP) N/A
Inflation N/A

North Korea

Inflation & Debt

Inflation N/A
Government Bond Ratings N/A
Unemployment rate N/A
Household saving rates N/A
Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP) N/A
Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP) N/A
Market value of publicly traded shares N/A
Largest Companies N/A


Exports as percent of GDP (Exports of goods and services) N/A

Shares in world total merchandising export N/A

Shares in world total commercial services export N/A

Total exports USD 4.2 billion (2015 estimate)
Export commodities Minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, agricultural and fishery products
Total imports N/A

Import commodities Petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment, textiles, grain

Exports – major partners China 86.3% (2017)

Imports – major partners China 91.9% (2017)

Competitiveness & Trade

Current account balance N/A
Current account balance by percentage of GDP N/A
FDI inflows 2016: USD 89 million
2017: USD -13 million
2018: USD 52 million
FDI Outflows N/A
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser N/A

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) – World Investment Report
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2014 N/A
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2015 N/A
Best countries for doing business Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

Overall ranking: N/A


Starting a business: N/A

Enforcing Contracts: N/A

Registering Property: N/A

Getting credit: N/A

Protecting investors: N/A

Trading across border: N/A

Paying Taxes: N/A

Dealing with Construction Permits: N/A

Getting Electricity: N/A

Resolving Insolvency: N/A
Global competitiveness ranking N/A
Index of Economic Freedom Ranking: 180 / Score: 5.9 (Repressed)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed)

Population & Geographic Data

Time Zone UTC+9

Total Area 120,538 sq km

Total Population N/A
Urban population as % of total population 1960: 40.2%
1980: 56.9%
2000: 59.4%
2018: 61.9%
Population median age 34.2 years
Population growth rate 0.52% (2018 estimate)
Life expectancy 71 years (2018 estimate)
% of population living on less than $3.10 a day N/A
Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index) N/A
Freedom House rating Not Free
Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 7 (2019)
(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free rating)
Total telephone subscribers as % of population Fixed: 50.6% Mobile: 129.7% (2018)

(fixed-telephone subscribers and mobile-cellular subscribers)
Internet users as % of total population 95.9 % (2018)

Language & Religon

Languages Korean
Literacy Total population: 100%
Male: 100%
Female: 100%
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
Religions Traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)

World Rankings

Population N/A
Mercer Cost of living index Seoul: 4th (2019)
C02 Emissions per capita 11.57 metric tons per capita (2014)

Global Finance Rankings & Awards: North Korea

Global Finance Magazine holds several conferences and awards ceremonies throughout the year to recognize the winning financial institutions and companies in a host of categories including World’s Best Trade Finance Banks, World's Biggest Banks, World's Safest Banks, World's Best Developed & Emerging Markets Banks, World's Best Internet Banks, and World’s Best Investment Banks.

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Data Sources:

IMF World Economic Outlook

UN World Population Prospects

World Inequality Report

S&P Global Ratings


Fitch Ratings

IMF Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS)

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

CIA The World Factbook

World Bank’s World Integrated Trade Solution

Forbes Global 2000