Average North Korean vs the Average South Korean – People Comparison

So far in our shows featuring the average
person, we’ve focused on Europe and North America. Today we’re heading to Asia to compare what
could be called a flourishing nation with a country that is usually given the epithet
of ‘secret state.’ The two countries sit side by side, and yet
today they share little in common. One nation is viewed as a threat to western
democratic capitalist values, and the other an ally and exponent of those values. Separated by a demilitarized zone, it’s
not often that the global public gets to see what happens north of the border. Even when we are given a glimpse inside the
secretive nation, we are often told the reality was only a show, propaganda. Today we are going to take a look inside,
in this episode of the Infographics Show, The average North Korean vs. the Average South
Korean. Don’t forget to subscribe and click the
bell button so that you can be part of our Notification Squad. According to a fact sheet created by the Korean
Economic Institute of America, South’s Korea’s 51 million people are currently living in
the 13th largest economy in the world based on purchasing power parity. That number is 1.93 trillion dollars. It’s GDP is 1.4 trillion dollars, putting
South Korea in 11th place in the world for GDP. North Korea’s 25 million people will not
be enjoying an economic boom anytime soon. It’s GDP, according to the CIA Factbook,
was 25 billion dollars in 2015. Some sources say this number is lower. The country’s main industries are agriculture,
mining, fishing and the services, while South Korea’s major industries cover more modern
sectors such as electronics, automotive, shipbuilding, and petrochemicals. What this means in terms of wealth per capita,
well, you can probably figure that out. The average wage in South Korea in 2016 according
to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development was just over 32,000 U.S.
dollars a year. This was taken by calculating the total wage
bill in the country by the number of full-time employees. As the North Korean government doesn’t publish
its salaries, it’s hard to know exactly what people get paid. According to North Korean Economy Watch, a
high paid official in the country could earn as much as 1,000 dollars a month. In an article published in NPR, it was said
many talented North Koreans working in good factory jobs were earning around 62 dollars
a month. It also said the workers were doing relatively
ok, and some were earning 100 dollars per month. This is certainly good when compared to the
bottom rung of the ladder, with some reports saying many North Koreans earned as little
as 2 or 3 dollars a month. If that is the case, how do they survive on
such meager wages? For starters, North Korea claims that it is
the world’s only tax free country, celebrating Tax Abolition Day on April 1st. Even if that’s true, many studies tell us
that a large number of North Koreans battle with poverty. A KUNI report stated that much of the population
has to live on corn and kimchi, and doesn’t even have fuel to cook with. The upside, if it can be seen that way, is
that all North Korean property is owned by the government. North Koreans are given a place to live, but
the condition of that place will depend on what work you do and what rank you hold. Your social status and which part of the country
you live in will also factor. This could mean getting a fairly decent apartment,
or living in a place heated by an open fire that does not have a flushing toilet or reliable
electricity. Education is also free, and North Korea says
it has a national literacy rate of 100% for children 15 or over. Healthcare is free, although according to
various articles, it is lacking. This is because of underfunding, which is
partly due to sanctions and a struggling economy. According to one article published in The
Guardian, sick people were using crystal meth instead of medical drugs because the former
was cheaper and provided a modicum of relief. South Koreans could be said to be breaking
good in comparison, but at the same time more money does often mean more problems. While the southerners enjoy higher wages,
they also have high household debt according to global averages. In a 2017 article in Business Insider, South
Korea landed in 7th position on the debt list, with 90% household debt to GDP. While working in North Korea doesn’t sound
like a walk in the park, South Koreans are well known for overworking themselves. According to the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, the South Koreans worked the second highest number of hours
in the world in 2015, at 2,113 hours. This could include 12 hours of obligatory
overtime on weekdays, and 16 hours on weekends. South Koreans get 16 days of public holidays,
one less public holiday than in North Korea. We might also cite a recent Time magazine
article that said North Koreans are forced to work 70 days straight to get a day off. Other sources have said they get 15 days off
a year. With all that hard work, South Koreans might
hope to have good healthcare if they fall ill from overdoing it. That they do, with their free for all compulsory
National Health Insurance. South Korea also has very modern standards
of medical care and highly qualified medical professionals. The system is frequently rated as being one
of the best in the world. It can’t, however, do anything for a successful
suicide. According to the most recent World Health
Organization report on global suicide, South Korea was the only developed country in the
world to make it onto the top ten list. Other lists include Japan. Rates differ wherever you look, with some
sources putting South Korea in third place in the world, behind…North Korea. Most reports don’t mention North Korea because
there are no verifiable statistics. The rates are rising, and it stands at around
41.7 per 100,000 men in South Korea. This is very high in view of all other developed
nations. Many experts say the high expectations of
society on sometimes overworked men is to blame. The rate is also high for women, we should
add. This also applies to school in the South,
where students study notoriously long hours as well as after school study. For this reason, its students are often in
the top leagues globally for their academic performance. 7 out of every 10 high school students in
South Korea go to university, but this also means competitiveness and pressure make life
hard for youngsters. One report says half of them think about ending
it all during their school years. It also means more expensive private schools
popping up, while private university semesters can cost anything from US$3,000 to US$6,000. North Korea’s 23,000 colleges and universities
are all free. Let’s now turn to the body. These two countries should surely have similar
looking people, right? Well, some reports say that due to ill-health,
North Koreans are on average two inches, or even three inches shorter than South Koreans. Outspoken social critic Christopher Hitchens
once wrote that it was more like a 5 or 6 inch difference. Men in the South average around 5 feet 8 and
a half and women about five feet 2. The South Koreans are also quite well-proportioned,
and not suffering an obesity crisis like many developed nations. Men average around 154 pounds and women around
123 pounds. Unlike the paunchy leader Kim Jong Un, most
North Koreans are on the lighter side than their southern counterparts. Some reports state that Kim Jong Un gained
88 pounds since becoming leader. As for having fun when not working too hard
or prostrating yourself to your most excellent leader, a Guardian article that cited North
Korean defectors said that the spirit of eumjugamu, meaning the love of ‘drinking, music and
dancing,’ is alive and well in the North. This is where the two countries can say they
still share a similar trait: they both love karaoke and getting wasted on white liquor. Although, said the article, North Koreans
do it at home and southerners tend to go out. We’ll leave it on that merry note. Can you think of other ways North Koreans
differ from South Koreans? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Americans vs Europeans! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Lol most of the people in the reply’s section about South Korea being better is “SOUTH KOREA IS AWESOME BECAUSE OF K-POP!!” Like I love k-pop but that’s not what South Korea is all about.

  2. But the thing is! I thought South Korea was too much better than North Korea but, if I see this video… It makes me felt sad to see what North Korea acting like this… South Korea was really best but, North Korea makes me scared to go there is because I'm Muslim but, mostly my entire body looks like Korean…. Mostly I was scared to go there so my feelings like I'll go to South Korea….

  3. Each of the top 11 billionaires alone have a net worth greater than North Korea's GDP. (And possibly more if the number is lower.)

  4. I feel bad for the North Koreans since my Grandpa escaped from North Korea and he saw death while swimming towards South Korea.

  5. Oh my Oh my I was watching a video in 2× and when this video started I got shocked af ( sorry for my poor english)

  6. I think North Korea is better; at least there are traditional buildings in North, and people are kind i think.

  7. Hello, since you've taken out the time to pay attention to two countries that are from Asia and not America and Europe, I was wondering if you could do one on Pakistan and India?

  8. South Korean government is trying to lower down the labour time by law. Now it is only allowed to work under 52 hours a week.

  9. Both part of Korea have been threatening the world.

    Northern part: Nuclear BOMB

    Southern part: K-POP

    Unified? K-POP NUCLEAR BOMB.

  10. Fish, farm and those minerals from North Korea won’t go to the USA because Kim Jong Un hates Donald Trump

  11. 응, 한국말이야. 하지만 걱정마! 나도 영어를 알고 있어! 그리고 프랑스어 베일랜즈 일본 만다린도 배우고 있어. 그래, 그렇지!

  12. A $25 Billion GDP in North Korea would give each of the 25 million people only $1000, which was confirmed later. I was right!

  13. 2:25 Nth Koreans can't even eat or make kimchi cuz of the recipe price… instead they rely on corn, rice, wheat ,etc… just cuz it's part of the Korean Peninsula doesn't mean anyone can eat kimchi…

  14. Ok ok….stop for a moment!

    1:42 that man…(on the left) is ALMOST as tall as the house , like….he cant even go through the door

  15. I’m a South Korean.South Korea you have to study hard some kids don’t like that but when I was a kid we were always trying to achieve higher education and have better quality and better education and the government and the president treats us South Koreans right.

  16. Then again you failed to point out that the 100% literacy claim comes from the fact that this is judged on spelling Kim Il-Sung’s name…Honestly I’m pretty sure it might end up different especially taking the dirt poor North Koreans into account

  17. Ugh, you nasty westerners! My great nation gives many opportunities to our people, and you all disrespect our great leader! Arragont fools! Do not talk about things you do not understand!

    Yearly wage has increased by 0.2%
    The Great Leader thanks you for your service

  18. i can't understand what have you speak / has you spoke ? 😂 .. because it is too fast and i just turn on the speed to 0.75% , lol yeah im beginner HOHO / may i know , the words have you speak / has you spoke .. which one is correct ? 😭

  19. 5:45 The South Koreans are also well proportioned & not suffering an obesity crisis like other developed nations LIKE AMERICA

    DOES THAT RING A BELL IN UR HEAD?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!??!??!?!??!?!???????????????????????

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