Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in South Korea instead of China, you would:

Health

live 6.8 years longer


In China, the average life expectancy is 76 years (74 years for men, 78 years for women). In South Korea, that number is 82 years (79 years for men, 86 years for women).

be 24.2% less likely to be obese


In China, 6.2% of adults are obese. In South Korea, that number is 4.7% of people.

Economy

make 2.4 times more money


China has a GDP per capita of $16,700, while in South Korea, the GDP per capita is $39,400.

spend 15.6% less on taxes


China has a top tax rate of 45.0%. In South Korea, the top tax rate is 38.0%.

be 4.4 times more likely to live below the poverty line


In China, 3.3% live below the poverty line. In South Korea, however, that number is 14.4%.

Life

be 59.3% less likely to die during childbirth


In China, approximately 27.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor. In South Korea, 11.0 women do.

be 75.0% less likely to die during infancy


In China, approximately 12.0 children die before they reach the age of one. In South Korea, on the other hand, 3.0 children do.

have 32.5% fewer children


In China, there are approximately 12.3 babies per 1,000 people. In South Korea, there are 8.3 babies per 1,000 people.

Basic Needs

be 69.0% more likely to have internet access


In China, approximately 53.2% of the population has internet access. In South Korea, about 89.9% do.

Expenditures

spend 34.5% more on healthcare


China spends 5.5% of its total GDP on healthcare. In South Korea, that number is 7.4% of GDP.

Geography

see 83.4% less coastline


China has a total of 14,500 km of coastline. In South Korea, that number is 2,413 km.

South Korea: At a glance

South Korea (sometimes abbreviated ROK) is a sovereign country in East/Southeast Asia, with a total land area of approximately 96,920 sq km. An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. In 1910, Tokyo formally annexed the entire Peninsula. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a democratic-based government (Republic of Korea, ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a communist-style government was installed in the north (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside ROK soldiers to defend South Korea from a DPRK invasion supported by China and the Soviet Union. A 1953 armistice split the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. PARK Chung-hee took over leadership of the country in a 1961 coup. During his regime, from 1961 to 1979, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to roughly 17 times the level of North Korea. South Korea held its first free presidential election under a revised democratic constitution in 1987, with former ROK Army general ROH Tae-woo winning a close race. In 1993, KIM Young-sam (1993-98) became the first civilian president of South Korea's new democratic era. President KIM Dae-jung (1998-2003) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his contributions to South Korean democracy and his "Sunshine" policy of engagement with North Korea. President PARK Geun-hye, daughter of former ROK President PARK Chung-hee, took office in February 2013 and is South Korea's first female leader. South Korea holds a non-permanent seat (2013-14) on the UN Security Council and will host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Serious tensions with North Korea have punctuated inter-Korean relations in recent years, including the North's attacks on a South Korean ship and island in 2010, nuclear and missile tests, and its temporary closure of the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2013.

How big is South Korea compared to China? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, National Tax Service, South Korea, State Administration of Taxation.

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