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GNI per capita is up 500 fold since end of the war

With newly revised statistics, central bank has adjusted change
Dec 20,2019
Korea’s gross national income (GNI) per person grew more than 500 fold since the end of the Korean War, according to revised data from Bank of Korea issued on Thursday.

The central bank said that the country’s GNI per capita increased to $33,434 in 2018 from $67 in 1953.

Bank of Korea has released a new set of data adjusting the base year from 2010 to 2015.

The previous difference stood at 486 times, as 2018’s GNI per person came in at $31,349 using the earlier base year.

Korea GNI per capita has grown on average 10 percent a year, it said.

The growth was 3.6 percent in the 1950s. Then it started gaining momentum in the 1960s and posted double-digit growth until 1990.

It rose an average of 10.4 percent a year in the 1960s and then 22.8 percent in the 1970s. It went on to post an average annual expansion of 12.9 percent in the 1980s.

Entering the 1990s, however, the rate lost steam, rising on average 6.2 percent in the 1990s and 6.1 percent in the 2000s.

Between 2010 and 2018, GNI grew 6.4 percent every year on average.

The central bank cited an increase of individual income and a rise in consumer prices as the main factor driving the expansion over the entire period.

In line with the increase in GNI, per capita, disposable income also grew steadily between 1975 and 2018. The index, which is personal income minus personal current taxes, was $477 in 1975 but soared to $18,144 last year.

The GDP rose a whopping 39,665 times from 47.7 billion won ($40.9 million) in 1953 to 1,893 trillion won last year.

The average growth rate of the GDP during the cited period was 7.2 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous version of the data.

GDP grew 5.9 percent on average between 1954 and 1959. As with GNI, the rate started accelerating in 1960, with an average rate of 8.7 percent that decade. In the 1970s, it remained strong at 10.5 percent a year on average, and was 9.8 percent in the 1980s.

It began to slow entering the 1990s, at 7.2 percent a year, and fell to 4.9 percent in the 2000s. Between 2010 and 2018 it grew at 3.4 percent a year.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]