Korea, Republic of (ROK) - Public finance

In recent years, Korea has moved away from the planned, government-controlled economy to a more liberal market based economy. Privatization of some major banks and a restructuring of the chaebols (conglomerates) contributed greatly to the opening up of the economy.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2000 South Korea's central government took in revenues of approximately $118.1 billion and had expenditures of $95.7 billion including capital expenditures of $22.6 billion. Overall, the government registered a surplus of approximately $22.4 billion. External debt totaled $128.2 billion.

The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.

Korea, Republic of (ROK)

EXPENDITURES 100.0% 95,700
General public services 5.1% 4,842
Defense 16.7% 15,941
Public order and safety 6.1% 5,801
Education 20.5% 19,627
Health 0.8% 746
Social security 10.8% 10,329
Housing and community amenities 2.3% 2,159
Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs 0.9% 815
Economic affairs and services 23.7% 22,659
Other expenditures 10.5% 10,046
Interest payments 2.9% 2,735

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