South Korea: Government debt

(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 - 2020:

For that indicator, we provide data for South Korea from 1990 to 2020. The average value for South Korea during that period was 23.62 percent with a minimum of 7.98 percent in 1996 and a maximum of 43.8 percent in 2020. The latest value from 2020 is 43.8 percent. For comparison, the world average in 2020 based on 168 countries is 68.02 percent. See the global rankings for that indicator or use the country comparator to compare trends over time.
Select indicator
* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Recent values

Longer historical series

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.
This site uses cookies.
Learn more here