South Korea: Government debt

* indicates monthly or quarterly data series
 South Korea

Government debt as percent of GDP

 Latest value 49.40
 Year 2022
 Measure percent
 Data availability 1990 - 2022
 Average 25.09
 Min - Max 7.98 - 49.40
 Source Ministry of Economy and Finance of South Korea
For that indicator, we provide data for South Korea from 1990 to 2022. The average value for South Korea during that period was 25.09 percent with a minimum of 7.98 percent in 1996 and a maximum of 49.4 percent in 2022. The latest value from 2022 is 49.4 percent. For comparison, the world average in 2022 based on 163 countries is 61.07 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 chart
South Korea - Government debt - Recent values chart

Historical chart
South Korea - Government debt - historical chart - 1990-2022




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.


 Related indicators Latest value Reference Measure
 Government spending, percent of GDP 18.77 2022 percent
 Government spending, in dollars 314.15 2022 billion U.S. dollars
 Fiscal balance, percent of GDP -3.00 2022 percent
 Government debt 49.40 2022 percent
 Government expenditure 102,117.30 Q3/2023 billion
 Long-term government bond yield 3.95 9/2023 percent
 Tax revenue 16.73 2021 percent
 Commercial tax rate 33.20 2019 percent
 Tax preparation time 174 2019 hours
 Number of taxes 12 2019 taxes
 Taxes on goods and services 18.68 2021 percent
 Taxes on international trade 1.38 2021 percent
 Income and profits taxes 30.40 2021 percent
 Foreign aid -71.54 2004 million U.S. dollars
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