October 06, 2014 10:04
Korea expects that per-capita gross national income will surpass US$30,000 next year for a population of over 50 million, joining a select club of countries in the same category.
The others are France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. and the U.S., while the entire rest have either smaller populations or lower incomes.
The Hyundai Research Institute on Sunday predicted Korea's per-capita GNI will rise 4.2 percent next year to $30,088, surpassing $30,000 for the first time. Korea's per-capita GNI first exceeded $20,000 in 2006.
Denmark, Luxembourg and Singapore have a per-capita GNI of more than $40,000, but their populations are small, so they account for a smaller proportion of the global economy. Brazil, China and India have large populations but their per-capita GNI is much lower and large sections of their people live in poverty.
Korea may not spend long in the group since the birthrate is so low. In 2045, the population is expected to fall back below 50 million, according to Statistics Korea, and the country may also have trouble keeping the economy buoyant.
Yun Chang-hyun at the Korea Institute of Finance said, "It remains to be seen whether Korea can weather low economic growth and a low birthrate."
And Oh Jung-keun at Konkuk University said, "Korea could follow the footsteps of Japan, which entered a prolonged economic slump right after its per-capital GNI surpassed $30,000 in 1992."
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