Seoul’s residents were the top earners in 2017Seoul residents were the top earners by region in 2017, overtaking Ulsan residents due to a slump in the southeastern city’s shipbuilding industry.
According to Statistics Korea data on disposable income by region in 2017, Seoul residents earned an average of 22.2 million won ($18,500) that year compared to residents of Ulsan, who earned on average 22.0 million won.
While Ulsan residents had the highest income in the country in recent years as it is home to some of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country, the statistics agency explained that a shipbuilding slump two years ago weighed on the city.
“Ulsan’s shipbuilding industry was very sluggish in 2017,” explained Sim Sang-wook, income statistics director at the agency.
The port city, however, maintained the top spot in terms of its gross domestic product per person two years ago, at 65.4 million won, compared to residents in the capital city, at 41.4 million won.
“[Ulsan’s] gross regional domestic product per person was the largest as its production size is quite large compared to its population.”
The city has a population of 1.15 million compared with Seoul’s 9.74 million.
In terms of economic growth by region in 2017, Gyeonggi took the top spot, at 6.6 percent, followed by North Chungcheong, at 6.1 percent and South Chungcheong, at 5.4 percent.
The three regions were helped by a semiconductor boom two years ago, as they host some of the largest semiconductor manufacturing facilities, including those operated by Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.
The agency’s latest report is also a result of a revamp of data collection standards due to administrative changes, such as including the city of Sejong in statistics separately, and updates to census data.
Due to the changes, the gross domestic product for the country stood at 1,840 trillion won compared to 1,730 trillion won under previous standards, a 6.3 percent rise.
BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [email@example.com]