English I

Economic Growth


The Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) and per capita Gross Regional Domestic Product are examples of regional economic indicators that gauge Korea’s economic development and its current status. The GRDP indicates the total value of final products that were newly created within a certain region during a certain period. Through the GRDP, one can identify the size of the economy, the production level, and the industrial structure of each region, and when this measurement is applied to the national scale, it becomes the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, the assessment is not always consistent due to differences in the data and methods used at the time of estimation. The Gross National Income (GNI) indicates the income purchasing power, which is calculated by evaluating and adding the total amount of value added (based on market price) as created by all economic agents of a nation during a certain period, including households, firms, as well as the government. While the GDP is a production indicator used to measure production activities of a nation, the GNI is an income indicator used to measure the welfare level of the people of a nation.

   The nominal GDP of Korea posted 1.1975 trillion USD in 2013, ranking it 15th in the world, and 12th in purchasing power parity. Korea’s GDP was ranked 31st in 1960, 32nd in 1970, and 28th in 1980. With the rapid economic development in the 1980s, it climbed to 18th in 1985 and 15th in 1990. It has remained in the 11th- 15th range since then. The increase of the GDP reached an excess of 10 trillion won in 1975, and it exceeded 100 trillion won in 1986, reflecting a tenfold growth within 11 years. In 2008, 33 years after it exceeded 10 trillion won, it exceeded 1,000 trillion won, which is 100 times over that of 1975, a vivid indicator of Korea’s compressed economic growth by any measure. The shock of the 1997 Asian foreign exchange crisis reduced growth temporarily in 1998, but since then it has only continued to increase year after year. The per capita GNI was 100,000 won in 1971, but by 1980 it had jumped to 1 million won. By 1996, it exceeded 10 million won, and by 2007 the number exceeded 20 million won and stands above 25 million won as of 2013.