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South Korea’s GDP per Capita Expected to be $29,200 This Year
Stagnant GDP Per Capita
South Korea’s GDP per Capita Expected to be $29,200 This Year
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • August 7, 2017, 02:30
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A country map of GDP Per Capita in 2015.
A country map of GDP Per Capita in 2015.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on August 6 that South Korea recorded a GDP per capita of US$27,633 and ranked 29th among about 190 countries as of October last year.

A total of 27 countries exceeded US$30,000 on the list topped by Luxembourg (US$105,829). It was followed by Switzerland (US$79,578), Norway (US$71,497), Macao (US$67,013), Ireland (US$65,871), Qatar (US$60,733), Iceland (US$57,889), the United States (US$57,294), Denmark (US$53,243), Singapore (US$53,053), Sweden (US$51,604), Australia (US$51,593), the Netherlands (US$45,210), Germany (US$42,326), Britain (US$40,412), France (US$38,537), Japan (US$37,304) and Italy (US$30,294).

The GDP per capita of Puerto Rico, Spain and Kuwait was US$29,048, US$27,012 and US$26,146, respectively. They were followed by Saudi Arabia (US$19,922), Argentina (US$12,425), Turkey (US$9,317), Russia (US$8,838), Mexico (US$8,699), Brazil (US$8,587), China (US$8,261), South Africa (US$5,018), Indonesia (US$3,636) and India (US$1,719).

South Korea’s GDP per capita exceeded US$20,000 in 2006 by a margin of US$873. In 2009, however, it dropped to US$18,300 due to the global financial crisis at that time. It rebounded to US$27,805 in 2015, slightly fell to US$27,097 last year, and is estimated to reach US$29,200 this year. 

It took two years for Switzerland to reach US$30,000 from US$20,000. Luxembourg spent three years, Sweden and New Zealand four years, Norway, Australia, Germany and Japan five years, Denmark seven years, and Britain and Hong Kong 10 years. South Korea is estimated to surpass the US$30,000, spending 12 years like Singapore, if the things go as forecast by the government. The length of time is 13 years for France, Belgium and the Netherlands and 15 years for Canada.

Italy’s GDP per capita topped US$20,000 in 1995 and US$30,000 in 2004 but fell below US$30,000 in 2015. That of Spain topped US$20,000 in 2003 and US$30,000 in 2007 but fell below US$30,000 in 2012.