The Bank of Korea announced on March 5 that South Korea’s GNI per capita increased by 5.4 percent to US$31,349 in 2018, breaking the US$30,000 mark for the first time.
South Korea’s GNI per capita broke the US$20,000 mark in 2006, when it reached US$20,795. In other words, it took 12 years for South Korea to raise its GNI per capita from US$20,000 to US$30,000. Japan and Germany did so in five years and the United States and Australia did so in nine years. The relatively longer period is attributable to financial crises.
In the meantime, South Korea posted a real GDP growth of 2.7 percent in 2018. For reference, the rate of growth was 3.1 percent in 2017.
South Korea’s nominal GDP totaled 1,782.3 trillion won last year, up 3 percent from a year earlier. This is a 20-year low since the financial crisis of 1998, when its nominal GDP fell 1.1 percent. This can be attributed to deterioration of trade conditions resulting from a rise in oil prices.