KITA News and Reports
  • Korea’s Status Reflected on Statistics ‘Korea in the World’

    Korea’s Status Reflected on Statistics ‘Korea in the World’

    - Korea topped information technology and R & D sectors, remained the same in labor and social areas and national competitiveness dropped year-on-year -

    Korea ranked top in information and communication and R & D sectors last year, while the indicators of national competitiveness such as labor and social sectors deteriorated.   

    According to the statistics titled "Korea in the World in 2016" published by the Institute for International Trade of the Korea International Trade Association (President, Kim Geuk-soo,, Korea ranked top position in the information technology area, including ICT development index (No.1 in 2015), Internet speed (No.1 in 2015), and the e-government index (No.3 in 2016). Moreover, the country ranked high in R & D sectors such as R & D investment-to-GDP ratio (No.1 in 2014), R & D manpower in companies (No.5 in 2014), and the number of registered patents held by Koreans (No.4 in 2014).

    However, there was no improvement in the indicators related to social, labor, and quality of life compared to the previous low rankings. The rate of female economic activity (57.9% in 2015, No. 31 in OECD), birthrate (1.26% in 2016, No.166) and annual working hours (2,113 hours in 2013, No.3) continued to stay at the bottom. In addition, quality of life (No.47 in 2015, 7 steps down year-on-year) and the hourly compensation increase rate (No.27 in 2014, 25 steps down year-on-year) deteriorated compared to the previous year.

    Furthermore, the statistics showed that Korea’s status in the international community slightly declined as the rankings of the country's image (No.16 in 2016, 1 step down from the previous year), international competitiveness (No.29 in 2016, 4 steps down from the previous year) and transparency index (No.43 in 2016, 3 steps down from the previous year) fell year-on-year. 

    Every year, the Institute for International Trade issues ‘Korea in the World’, which summarizes Korea’s global rankings based on some 170 economic, trade and social indicators. The contents of this report are available on the website of the Institute for International Trade (















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