Korea has clawed its way back to a per-capita income of US$20,000 three years after the global financial crisis started. Per capita gross national income in 2010 based on the year's dollar value was US$20,759, an increase of $3,566 over the previous year, the Bank of Korea said Wednesday.
Among countries with a population above 20 million, Korea was the tenth to break the $20,000 mark.
The increase was attributed to faster economic growth and a strengthened won from the year before. GDP increased by 10.1 percent to W1,172 trillion, and the won traded on average 9.4 percent higher than in 2009.
The exchange rate was also the key factor in 2007, when per capita GNI crossed $20,000 for the first time to reach $21,695. At that time the average exchange rate was W929 to the dollar, notably stronger than Wednesday's close of W1,105.