Friday, August 4, 2017

The facts that shock: The economy of North Korea is 1/50th the size of South Korea’s economy

Was reading The Economist,  and got a shock when I read this:

“IT IS odd that North Korea causes so much trouble. It is not exactly a superpower. Its economy is only a fiftieth as big as that of its democratic capitalist cousin, South Korea.

 A fiftieth?   So I went to the CIA world factbook, and indeed:

                                                                S Korea                                 N.Korea
 GDP (purchasing power parity):  $1.934 trillion (2016 est.)           $40 billion (2015 est.)
 Population                                    50,924,172 (July 2016 est.)        25,115,311
 GDP - per capita (PPP):               $37,900 (2016 est.)                   $1,700 (2015 est.)

The above facts may be obvious to economists and journalists who closely follow the conflict.  To me, it came as a surprise. The last time I reacted similarly was when I realized that the economy of Belgium is greater than that of all Africa put together, excluding South Africa.