The Korea Herald


Korea ranks bottom in OECD for welfare spending

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Oct. 31, 2016 - 17:01

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South Korea is spending a smaller proportion of its gross domestic product on social welfare compared than other developed economies, data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed Monday.

According to the OECD’s report on the Social Expenditure Database, South Korea ranked No. 34 out of 35 member countries, spending 10.4 percent of its GDP on social welfare. The figure was based on data collected from January to October this year.

This marks less than half of the OECD average of 21 percent and falls far short of European welfare states like France (31.5 percent) and Finland (30.8 percent).

Chile and Turkey spent higher proportions of their GDP on welfare than Korea, at 11.2 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively. Mexico ranked the lowest with 7.5 percent

The OECD also said in the report that South Korea has a low level of old-age pension and maternity leave allowance.

“While South Korea has a low level of social welfare compared to other countries, its social welfare spending to GDP ratio has quadrupled over the last 25 years, a remarkable increase along with countries like Japan, Mexico and Turkey, which showed a jump in family welfare spending,” the report added.

By Kim Da-sol (