중앙데일리

Korean Social Barometer after the IMF Bailout

Dec 25,1998
The economic shock following the IMF bailout had a serious impact on every segment of Korean society.
In education, the number of parents who cannot afford to pay for their children's kindergarten classes increased and many college students were forced to take a leave of absence due to insufficient tuition funds.
The National Statistical Office (NSO) announced its report, titled 'The Korean Social Barometer in 1998' on December 25. The number of children registered in kindergarten decreased by 6.0 percent to 568,000 and the number of college students who took a leave of absence increased by 37.8 percent.
The employment rate for junior college graduates fell by 9.2 percentage points to 66.3 percent and that of college graduates dropped by 11.3 percentage points to 50.5 percent.
The number of serious criminal offences including murder, burglary, rape and theft increased sharply. The total crime rate for 1997 rose by 6.3 percent to 1.59 million while serious crimes grew by 11.3 percent. Instances of theft, in particular, increased by 17.7 percent.
If the economic recession, unsurprisingly, brought out certain baser elements of society along with economic hardships, technology and other advances continued undaunted. As of the end of 1997, the number of mobile telephone subscribers increased by 850 percent to 6.83 million compared to 1990 and that of computer network subscribers also grew by 339 percent for the same period.
Medical services continued to improve. The number of people per doctor decreased from 1,007 in 1990 to 735 in 1997 and that for pharmacists, nurses, and dentists dropped to 1,004, 135, and 2,990, respectively.
Social science publications outnumbered study-aid books. Social science books occupied 39.3 percent of the market, followed by study-aid books at 31.9 percent in 1997 a reversal from 1996 where study-aid books were at 44.2 percent followed by social science publications with 23.0 percent.
The percentage of female teachers in elementary schools broke the 60 percent barrier for the first time in history with Seoul's figure at 74.4 percent.



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