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South Korea

Social conditions

The rapid economic development of South Korea in the 1980s and 1990s took place in a society that was still strongly influenced by traditional values and Confucian social and family views. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SKR and acronym for South Korea. Lifetime employment according to the Japanese model was common in larger workplaces, which gave employees financial and social security but led to a fairly inefficient business climate.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, South Korea has been forced to modernize both business and societal views. Forms of employment and social values have changed. Social insurance was expanded during the 1990s, but gradually the problems with finding sufficient manpower for both continued economic development and increasing care needs for the elderly increase, as immigration is very small.

Independent unions have been allowed since 1989, but the rate of membership is low. A large part of the workforce has uncertain employment conditions, which has led to strikes. The relatively early retirement age in the 1990s has put pressure on the state pension fund and many Koreans are therefore living on privately saved assets. In the country, private savings are expected to be able to support the pension fund when pensions decrease. Attempts to create a labor market for the elderly are also ongoing to compensate for the dropout. It is common for gainfully employed children to provide financial buffer for their parents.

Healthcare is well developed but expensive. There are major differences in health care between different strata of society and between city and countryside. Part of the health care system consists of traditional health care with herbal medicine.

Crime in the country is generally low except for crimes against women. However, women's rights have been strengthened in the country over the last ten years. Sons and daughters now have equal inheritance rights and women can divorce. Women have the same political rights as men and gender discrimination is prohibited. However, childcare is poorly developed, which is why even highly educated women leave the labor market early. Domestic violence is a serious crime, but many South Koreans may not consider it a matter for the justice system. Illegal sex industry, especially trafficking, has a large scope. The Anti-Discrimination Act does not include sexual orientation.

During the latter part of the 20th century, large-scale adoptions of children took place in South Korea. Nowadays, only about 2,500 are removed annually, of which just under half to other countries.

Society of South Korea


Seoul, the capital of South Korea, the country's largest city and administrative, cultural, political and economic center; 10.5 million input (2010); With Inchons and Seoul's satellite cities, the population of the metropolitan region is 23 million. Seoul forms a rough, thanks to pear shape with the Han River as a curved belt dividing the city into a northern and a southern half. In the middle of the river, on the island of Yoido, lies the country's parliament as well as the headquarters of many large and medium-sized companies. Newer residential areas with large, uniform housing estates are located especially south of the river. The city and much of the country's administration is in the north. Here are also the city's relatively few historic buildings, such as the Kyongbok King's main palace of the Yid dynasty which, however, to a large extent is beautifully done reconstruction. The city's two largest markets, Namdaemun and Tongdaemun, are close to the center of the northern district. All over the city are the small sweatshops or backyard workshops, whose production has been a contributing factor to the rapid economic development of South Korea from the mid-1960's. More modern industrial establishments are located on the periphery of the city, preferably to the south and west.

Seoul is connected to all parts of South Korea through a well-developed road network and rail system with lanes preferably laid in a north-south-going direction, radiating from the capital with the main axis between Seoul and Busan. The metro, which opened in 1974, is used daily by 4.4 million. people, and the Web is among the world's largest. On the outskirts of the city is Korea International Airport, Kimpo. A new airport, Kimhae, at the city of Inchon, Seoul's port city 50 km to the west, opened in 2001.


When the Koryo king Munjong (1046-83) in 1068 established a summer palace on the site, the area gained an urban feel. Its original name was Hanyang, but when the city became capital of the Yid dynasty in 1394, the name was changed to Hansong. Seoul was the capital of Korea until the country's division in 1948 and then the capital of South Korea. A census of 1429 shows that the capital had about 100,000 residents; at the beginning of the Japanese colonial period in the early 1900's. the population was increased to 250,000. During the Japanese colonial rule (1910-45), the city continued to serve as the administrative center under the name Keijo. However, Seoul has been the city's name for centuries, and by the Republic of Korea (South Korea)) founding in 1948 became Seoul capital's official name. By the end of the Korean War in 1953, Seoul had been totally destroyed, but already around 1960 the city had 2.5 million. including many refugees from North Korea, whose border is almost 40 km away. South Korea's explosive economic growth in the 1960's and 1970's led the city to grow into a megametropolis, which by the year 2000 has just under a quarter of the country's total population. The city hosted the Olympics in 1988.


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