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One-half of Korea's population aged 65 and over lives in relative poverty, nearly four times higher than the OECD average of 13%. Elderly poverty is thus an urgent social problem.
To strengthen social cohesion, a top government priority, it is essential to address the labour market roots of inequality by breaking down dualism to reduce the share of non-regular workers and to boost the employment ratio toward the government’s 70% target.
The story of Korean education over the past 50 years is one of remarkable growth and achievement. Korea is one of the top performing countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey and among those with the highest proportion of young people who have completed upper secondary and tertiary education.
Two rounds of the Survey of Adult Skills are under way: Round 1 (2008-13) with 24 participating countries, whose results were released in October 2013, and Round 2 (2012-16) with 9 participating countries, whose results will be released in 2016. A third round is scheduled to begin in May 2014.
Labour market reform to improve growth prospects and reduce inequality is a top priority in the face of rapid population ageing and a dualistic labour market. Sustaining output growth requires policies to mitigate the impact of rapid population ageing by increasing labour inputs from under-employed segments of the population.
The rapid expansion of education in Korea is exceptional and has played a key role in its economic
development. Sustaining Korea’s growth potential in the face of demographic headwinds requires further
improving the education system to boost productivity growth.
Education at a Glance 2013 - Country notes and key fact tables
English, PDF, 1,031kb
Korea has reduced the share of individuals without upper secondary education while the proportion of tertiary-educated individuals increased rapidly over the past 14 years.
English, PDF, 1,822kb
OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training: A Skills beyond School Review of Korea
Korea faces the challenge of reversing rising inequality while sustaining robust economic growth.