Gini coefficient of South Korea 2011-2018

The Gini coefficient is a number between zero and one that measures the relative degree of inequality in the distribution of income of a country. With a Gini coefficient of 0.35 on after-tax income in 2018, South Korea’s relative inequality is on the lower end of the scale. A coefficient of zero would describe a population in which every person receives the same adjusted household income. In contrast, a coefficient of one describes the case of maximum income inequality, where one person receives all the income and the rest received none.

Income distribution and disparity

As an indicator for economic growth, the economically active population in South Korea has been increasing over the past decade. Additionally, recent figures estimate net disposable income in South Korea has been growing over the past 20 years. There are still, however, disparities in wealth among South Koreans. The wealthiest ten percent of the South Korean population had an average monthly income of around 11.35 billion South Korean won – over 10 times greater than the poorest 10 percent of the population.

How wealthy is the country?

Although the Gini coefficient is a common indicator for economic equality, a low Gini index does not necessarily correlate to overall wealth of the country. The national net worth of a country is dependent on many factors, including the country’s equity, real estate prices, liabilities, exchange rates, human resources and natural resources. In terms of overall wealth, South Korea ranked among the top 20 countries across the world as of 2019.

Gini coefficient of after-tax income in South Korea from 2011 to 2018

Gini coefficient
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Release date

January 2020


South Korea

Survey time period

2011 to 2018

Special properties

based on recent OECD standards (Wave 7)

Supplementary notes

The Gini coefficient is a number between zero and one that measures the relative degree of inequality in the distribution of income. The coefficient would register zero (minimum inequality) for a population in which each person received exactly the same adjusted household income and it would register a coefficient of one (maximum inequality) if one person received all the adjusted household income and the rest received none.

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Statistics on "Inter-Korean relations and issues"

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