Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in North Korea instead of Sierra Leone, you would:

Health

live 12.1 years longer


In Sierra Leone, the average life expectancy is 59 years (56 years for men, 61 years for women). In North Korea, that number is 71 years (67 years for men, 75 years for women).

be 21.8% less likely to be obese


In Sierra Leone, 8.7% of adults are obese. In North Korea, that number is 6.8% of people.

Economy

be 2.8 times more likely to be unemployed


In Sierra Leone, 9.1% of adults are unemployed. In North Korea, that number is 25.6%.

Life

be 94.0% less likely to die during childbirth


In Sierra Leone, approximately 1360.0 women per 1,000 births die during labor. In North Korea, 82.0 women do.

be 67.7% less likely to die during infancy


In Sierra Leone, approximately 68.4 children die before they reach the age of one. In North Korea, on the other hand, 22.1 children do.

be 2.1 times more likely to be literate


In Sierra Leone, the literacy rate is 48.1%. In North Korea, it is 100.0%.

have 59.8% less children


In Sierra Leone, there are approximately 36.3 babies per 1,000 people. In North Korea, there are 14.6 babies per 1,000 people.

Basic Needs

be 6.0 times more likely to have access to electricity


In Sierra Leone, 5% of people have electricity access (11% in urban areas, and 1% in rural areas). In North Korea, that number is 30% of people on average (41% in urban areas, and 13% in rural areas).

be 59.3% more likely to have access to improved drinking water


In Sierra Leone, approximately 63% of people have improved drinking water access (85% in urban areas, and 48% in rural areas). In North Korea, that number is 100% of people on average (100% in urban areas, and 99% in rural areas).

Geography

see 6.2 times more coastline


Sierra Leone has a total of 402 km of coastline. In North Korea, that number is 2,495 km.

North Korea: At a glance

North Korea (sometimes abbreviated DPRK) is a sovereign country in East/Southeast Asia, with a total land area of approximately 120,408 sq km. An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five years later, Japan formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following World War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored communist control. After failing in the Korean War (1950-53) to conquer the US-backed Republic of Korea (ROK) in the southern portion by force, North Korea (DPRK), under its founder President KIM Il Sung, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic and economic "self-reliance" as a check against outside influence. The DPRK demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, and molded political, economic, and military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang's control. KIM Il Sung's son, KIM Jong Il, was officially designated as his father's successor in 1980, assuming a growing political and managerial role until the elder KIM's death in 1994. KIM Jong Un was publicly unveiled as his father's successor in September 2010. Following KIM Jong Il's death in December 2011, the regime began to take actions to transfer power to KIM Jong Un and KIM has now assumed many his father's former titles and duties. After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population. The DPRK began to ease restrictions to allow semi-private markets, starting in 2002, but then sought to roll back the scale of economic reforms in 2005 and 2009. North Korea's history of regional military provocations; proliferation of military-related items; long-range missile development; WMD programs including tests of nuclear devices in 2006, 2009, and 2013; and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community. The regime in 2013 announced a new policy calling for the simultaneous development of the North's nuclear weapons program and its economy.

How big is North Korea compared to Sierra Leone? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook.

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