Korea, Republic of

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Flag of South_Korea
Population (In Millions) 50.00
Human Development Index 12/187
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - World Bank) 1,129.60
Global Peace Index 47/162
Happy Planet Index 63/151
Social Institutions and Gender Index - /86
Environmental Performance Index 43/132
Child Mortality Rate 3.3
More information on variables


Republic of Korea

Main Progress Initiatives

Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development (PCSD) of Korea

Established in 2000, the PCSD is an advisory board whose mission covers:

Special Measures for Air Quality Improvement in the Seoul Metropolitan Area

The Special Measures for Air Quality Improvement in the Seoul Metropolitan Area seeks to improve air quality in the Capital Region (12% of South Korea but 47% of its population) to meet OECD average levels within ten years. Key features include a total maximum loading system of pollutants, an emission trading system and enhancement of low emission vehicle supply. In this context, the EcoVehicle-Choice-Program has been designed to initiate green vehicle purchasing by disclosing information on the emissions of all domestic vehicles and models online.

Official Statistics and well-being

The Social Survey

 The Social Survey published every 2 years by the Korea National Statistical Office, is designed to understand quality of life and social changes to provide basic data for the establishment of social development policies by measuring social interest and subjective opinions in relation to people's quality of life. This biennial survey focuses on ten sectors: Family, Income & Consumption, Labor, Education, Health Care, Environment, Welfare, Culture & Leisure, Safety, and Social Participation.

Sample finding from the Korean 2009 Social Survey

Korea and quality of life measures at the Conference: Two years after the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report: What well-being and sustainability measures?

In his presentation at the Conference: Two years after the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report: What well-being and sustainability measures? on 12 October, 2011, Commissioner Ki-Jong Woo of the Korea National Statistical Office elaborated on current Social Survey research and findings on the well-being of Koreans. He noted that:

Korea and Green Growth

The Framework Act for Low Carbon Green Growth was passed by the Republic of Korea's National Assembly in early 2010 to establish a comprehensive legal framework of relevant policies to foster the development of green technology and industries, to create new green jobs, to respond to climate change, to control energy targets, to promote a green lifestyle for citizens and to promote sustainable development.This Five Year Green Growth Plan involves $87 billion dollars, 2% of GDP, of spending from 2009-2013.[2]

  1. Creating new enginges of a higher and sustainable growth path by developing low-carbon, environmentally-friendly industries;
  2. Ensuring climatic and environmental sustainabilty; and
  3. Contributing to the international negotiations to fight climate change. [3]

Happiness in Korea, Republic of (South)

This is an overview of findings on Happiness in Korea, Republic of (South).The available findings are presented in the latest ‘Nation Report’ on Korea, Republic of (South)[4]. This report is ordered by type of happiness questions and within these types by year. This ordering is to facilitate the assessment of progress, comparison over time being most fruitful using the same questions.
The report presents means and standard deviations, both on the original scale range and transformed to a common range 0-10. The means inform about the level of happiness in the country and the standard deviations about inequality of happiness.
Links provide more detail about the precise text of the question, the full distribution of responses and technical details of the survey. The report is continuously updated.

Progress Papers and Publications


  1. Statistics Korea. (2009, Dec 3). 2009 Social Survey. Retrieved Fed 2, 2011, from Statistics Korea: http://kostat.go.kr/portal/english/news/1/8/index.board?bmode=read&bSeq=&aSeq=68944&pageNo=1&rowNum=10&navCount=10&currPg=&sTarget=title&sTxt=
  2. UNESCAP. (2010, May). Green Growth Initiatives in and beyond the region. Retrieved Feb 2, 2011, from Green Growth: http://www.greengrowth.org/gg-initiative.asp
  3. 3.0 3.1 Edmundo, F., Mauricio, L., & Daniel, F. (2010). Brazil and Korea on Green Growth - Elements for a cooperation agenda based on science, technology and innovation. Seoul.
  4. Happiness in Korea

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