(measure: percent; Source: Ministry of Economy and Finance of South Korea)
* indicates monthly or quarterly data series
South Korea: Government debt as percent of GDP
, 1990 - 2019:
For that indicator, we provide data for South Korea from 1990 to 2019. The average value for South Korea during that period was 22.96 percent with a minimum of 7.98 percent in 1996 and a maximum of 38.1 percent in 2019.
The latest value from 2019 is 38.1 percent. For comparison, the world average in 2019 based on 170
countries is 56.79 percent.
See the global rankings for that indicator or
use the country comparator to compare trends over time.
The government debt in South Korea and other countries is calculated as the total amount owed by the national government to domestic and international lenders. It is reported as percent of GDP so that we can evaluate its magnitude relative to the size of the economy.
Government debt of about 60 percent or less of GDP is not considered a problem. The government can make payments without strain and even has some room to borrow more. If debt levels reach 80-90 percent that may have negative effects on the economy. Debt above 120 percent of GDP is quite detrimental.
Definition: Debt is the entire stock of direct government fixed-term contractual obligations to others outstanding on a particular date. It includes domestic and foreign liabilities such as currency and money deposits, securities other than shares, and loans. It is the gross amount of government liabilities reduced by the amount of equity and financial derivatives held by the government. Because debt is a stock rather than a flow, it is measured as of a given date, usually the last day of the fiscal year.