Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

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

Health

live 17.9 years longer


In Laos, the average life expectancy is 65 years (63 years for men, 67 years for women). In South Korea, that number is 82 years (79 years for men, 86 years for women).

be 11.3% less likely to be obese


In Laos, 5.3% of adults are obese. In South Korea, that number is 4.7% of people.

Economy

make 5.3 times more money


Laos has a GDP per capita of $7,400, while in South Korea, the GDP per capita is $39,400.

be 34.5% less likely to be live below the poverty line


In Laos, 22.0% live below the poverty line. In South Korea, however, that number is 14.4%.

be 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed


In Laos, 1.5% of adults are unemployed. In South Korea, that number is 3.7%.

spend 58.3% more on taxes


Laos has a top tax rate of 24.0%. In South Korea, the top tax rate is 38.0%.

Life

be 94.4% less likely to die during childbirth


In Laos, approximately 197.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor. In South Korea, 11.0 women do.

be 94.0% less likely to die during infancy


In Laos, approximately 49.9 children die before they reach the age of one. In South Korea, on the other hand, 3.0 children do.

have 64.8% less children


In Laos, there are approximately 23.6 babies per 1,000 people. In South Korea, there are 8.3 babies per 1,000 people.

Basic Needs

be 14.9% more likely to have access to electricity


In Laos, 87% of the population has electricity access. In South Korea, 100% of the population do.

be 4.9 times more likely to have internet access


In Laos, approximately 18.2% of the population has internet access. In South Korea, about 89.9% do.

be 29.2% more likely to have access to improved drinking water


In Laos, approximately 76% of people have improved drinking water access (86% in urban areas, and 69% in rural areas). In South Korea, that number is 98% of people on average (100% in urban areas, and 88% in rural areas).

Expenditures

spend 75.9% more on education


Laos spends 2.9% of its total GDP on education. South Korea spends 5.1% of total GDP on education.

spend 3.9 times more on healthcare


Laos spends 1.9% of its total GDP on healthcare. In South Korea, that number is 7.4% of GDP.

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 Laos? See an in-depth size comparison.


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

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