SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – The quality of life for South Koreans ranks 47th in the world, as the country’s economic stature is undercut by long working hours and unemployment, a local report said Friday.
The annual report from the Institute for International Trade (IIT), a research arm of the Korea International Trade Association, said South Korea scored 4.95 on a scale of 1 to 10 in quality of life in 2015. The score placed South Korea 47th, down seven notches from the previous year. IIT releases the report annually based on some 170 economic, trade and social indices. The number of countries being compared vary by category.
The United States scored 8.26 to rank 18th, and Japan came in No. 20 with 8.11 points. South Korea was behind China’s 5.26, which gave it 45th place. Switzerland topped the ranking with 9.83 points.
In terms of gross domestic product, South Korea’s US$27,195 put the country in 32nd place. But the ranking was hurt by its low growth, labor intensiveness and unemployment rate.
South Koreans on average worked 2,113 hours a year, the third highest. The country’s unemployment was 14th highest at 3.6 percent. The national economic growth, on the other hand, was very low at 104th with 2.6 percent, the report said.
An average South Korean woman gave birth to 1.26 children, putting the country in 166th place.
The report gave fairly high marks in the technology and R&D categories. Per capita R&D investment, for example, was $1,200 for 14th place. South Korea was among the top in trade, ranking 6th in volume with $963 billion, while its trade balance of $90 billion took it higher to 4th place.
South Korea was the second-most probed country after China for anti-dumping. It was involved in 17 cases last year while China had 71 cases, according to the report.