Korea still ranks very low in social welfare spending compared to most other developed nations, but expenditure has been increasing rapidly over the years.
More than a third of this year's total budget was allocated for welfare, with the government approving more than US$320 billion for various programs.
However, an OECD report released on Thursday shows that the ratio of welfare spending on general tax benefits and support for families with children in proportion to GDP stood at just over 1 percent in 2009, the lowest among 33 OECD members.
The OECD average was around 2.6 percent. Top of the list were Ireland, Britain and Luxembourg. Korea, Mexico and the United States were ranked the lowest.