Credit Card Spending Reveals Growing Income Disparity

  • By Shon Jin-seok

    March 21, 2022 13:11

    Credit card spending in different parts of Seoul throws Korea's growing income disparity into sharp relief.

    Shinhan Card analyzed credit card spending patterns in 2021 and found that average monthly transactions differed by as much as 2.36 times in different districts.

    The affluent Gangnam district of southern Seoul had the highest amount of credit card spending at a whopping W1.84 million per person (US$1=W1,214). Next was neighboring Seocho (W1.74 million) and downtown Yongsan (W1.34 million).

    The parts with the lowest a spending were Jungnang (W777,000) and Geumcheon (W780,000). The average across the city was W1.04 million.

    Credit card use also varied in terms of business. Spending in superstores was the highest in Dobong and Geumcheon at W139,000, followed by Seocho (W138,000) and Gangnam (W136,000), compared to the overall average of W124,000.

    A Shinhan Card staffer said, "People buy their daily necessities in superstores, so there isn't a huge difference." But spending in department stores shows a huge disparity.

    Seocho ranked first with W680,000, four times higher than Eunpyeong in northwestern Seoul (W157,000). Gangnam ranked first in online purchases (W368,000), while Yongsan ranked first in terms of TV home shopping channels because so many elderly people live there (W205,000).

    Gwanak residents spent the most on public transportation (W33,000) and convenience stores (W51,000) because it is home to a lot of students and other young people. Jung in central Seoul ranked at the top when it comes to spending overseas because it is home to many foreign embassies and expats (W545,000).

    Affluent districts south of the Han River topped the list when it comes to trapping of wealth. Seocho came first in spending on eating out with W218,000, while Gangnam beat all the other districts in spending on private crammers (W804,000), culture and leisure activities (W272,000) and food deliveries (W141,000).

    • Copyright © Chosunilbo &
    Previous Next
    All Headlines Back to Top