The top 10 percent of South Korea’s highest income earners account for 44.9 percent of the country’s total income as of 2012, according to data from the International Monetary Fund and The World Wealth and Income Database. This makes South Korea the No. 2 country among major economies in terms of income inequality, only after the US, where the top 10 percent of income earners make up 47.8 percent of the country’s total income.
South Korea’s income equality is worsening rapidly. It jumped 15.6 percentage points between 1995 and 2012 -- the fastest pace compared to other major economics including Singapore (11.7 percentage points), US (7.3 percentage points), Japan (6.5 percentage points) and Australia (1.9 percentage points).