Tuesday, November 27, 2018

South Korea's Inequality

South Korea’s top-earning 10% accounted for 43.3% of all income, representing a higher level of income inequality than almost all advanced economies apart from the US, study results show.
Inequality in assets was found to be even more than severe than income inequality, with the bottom 50% of South Koreans accounting for less than 2% of all assets.

South Korea’s top-ranked 1% in terms of income accounted for 12.2% of all income in 2016. The percentage stood at over 20% in the 1930s before dropping in the 1970s to the 7–8% range, where it remained through the eruption of the foreign exchange crisis in 1997. It subsequently began to rise again, passing 10% in 2006 and hovering recently around 12%. 

The percentage was lower than those observed for the US (20.2% in 2014) and China (13.8% in 2015), but higher than those in Japan (10.4% in 2010), France (10.8% in 2014), and Sweden (8.7% in 2013).

The percentage of all income earned by the top 10% stood in the 20% range through the 1980s before passing 30% in 1995 and 40% in 2006; as of 2016, it was calculated at 43.3%. The percentage was higher than those for almost every country apart from the US (47% in 2014).

It stood in especially stark contrast with the countries of Europe, where it remains in the low to mid-30% range. In France, the percentage stood at 32.6% in 2014.

Asset inequality was found to be even more severe than income inequality, with the top-ranked 1% and 10% for assets respectively accounting for 25% and 65.7% of all assets in 2013. In France, the respective percentages were comparatively lower at 22.9% and 54.9%. In particular, South Korea’s bottom-ranked 50% for assets accounted for just 1.8% of all assets, compared to 6.4% in France.

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