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South Korea

Includes historical data for South Korea’s Gross Domestic Product growth, debt-to-GDP ratio and more, as well as information on trade, banking and financial sector leadership.

A High-Tech Economy With A Vibrant Private Sector

Following the 1950-53 conflict with North Korea, South Korea launched a major industrial development program, laying the groundwork for what would become a remarkable economic success story. Today, South Korea stands tall in the ranks of major economies, driven by a vibrant private sector, a skilled workforce and a world-class infrastructure.

An attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), despite its strengths, the business environment is not devoid of challenges. Weaknesses include regulatory intricacies, an aging population, and heavy reliance on exports. The dominance of family-owned chaebol conglomerates, competition from China, and geopolitical tensions with North Korea, pose additional concerns.

Macroeconomy & Sovereign Data

Type of Government Presidential republic
Capital Seoul
Sovereign Ratings S&P: AA
Moody’s: Aa2
Fitch: AA–
Total Population 51.5 million
Median Age 44.5
Adult Per Capita Income (PPP) 51,526.78
Total GDP (2023) 1.8 trillion

South Korea GDP & Economic Overview

Most Recent Content

Banking & Finance

Trade & Investment

Total Exports USD 677.5 billion (2022)
Leading Exports Crude Oil
Integrated Circuits
Natural Gas
Refined Petroleum
Photo Lab Equipment
Total Imports USD 797.7 billion (2022)
Leading Imports Integrated Circuits
Cars And Vehicle Parts
Refined Petroleum
Office Machinery
Source: World Integrated Trade Solution

South Korea Leading Companies

Kookmin Bank Financials
Shinhan Bank Financials
KEB Hana Bank Financials
Samsung Electronics Technology, Semiconductors, Consumer Electronics
Hyundai Motor Company Consumer Discretionary, Automobiles & Components
Lotte Group Conglomerates, Food & Staples Retailing, Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
LG Corporation Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Electronics

Major Trade Partners — Import

China 22.5%
United States 12.0%
Japan 8.9%
Australia 5.4%
Saudi Arabia 4.0%

Major Trade Partners — Export

China 25.3%
United States 14.9%
Vietnam 8.8%
Hong Kong 5.8%
Japan 4.7%

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