Korea, (South) Republic of
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Korea, (South) Republic of
Region: Eastern Asia
2012 Population1: 50,004,441
Total Area (sq. miles)1: 37,587
Life Expectancy at Birth1: 81.0
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2012 US $)1: $32,150
Official Religion(s) Or Church(es) 2: None

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Largest Religious Groups (Korea, (South) Republic of)


Government Regulation of Religion Index: Average government regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Government Favoritism of Religion Index: Average government favoritism score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less favoritism) Social Regulation of Religion Index: Average social regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Religious Persecution: Average number of people physically abused or displaced due to their religion according to U.S. Department of State's 2005 and 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports (as coded by ARDA researchers). 0 = None; 1 = 1-10; 2 = 11-20; 3 = 21-100; 4 = 101-500; 5 = 501-1000; 6 = 1001-5000; 7 = 5001-10000; 8 = 10001-50000; 9 = 50001-100000; 10 = greater than 100000.


South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, and commonly referred to as Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from the Kingdom of Goryeo, also spelled as Koryo. It shares land borders with North Korea to the north, and oversea borders with Japan to the east and China to the west. Roughly half of the country's 50 million people reside in the metropolitan area surrounding its capital, the Seoul Capital Area, which is the second largest in the world with over 25 million residents. Korea was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period and its civilization began with the founding of Gojoseon. After the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea in 668, Korea enjoyed over a millennium of relative tranquility under dynasties lasting for centuries in which its trade, culture, literature, science and technology flourished. In 1910 it was annexed by the Japanese Empire, after whose defeat in 1945, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S. zones of occupation, with the latter becoming the Republic of Korea in 1948. Although the United Nations passed a resolution declaring the Republic to be the only lawful government of Korea, a communist regime was soon set up in the North that invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War that ended de facto in 1953, with peace and prosperity settling-in thereafter. Between 1962 and 1994, South Korea's tiger economy grew at an average of 10% annually, fueled by annual export growth of 20%, in a period called the Miracle on the Han River that rapidly and successfully transformed it into a high-income advanced economy and the world's 11th largest economy by 1995. Today, South Korea is the world's seventh largest importer and eighth largest exporter, ranking as the eighth largest country in international trade, a regional power with the world's 10th largest defence budget and member of the G-20 and OECD's Development Assistance Committee. Since the first free election in 1987, South Koreans have enjoyed high civil liberties and a vibrant democracy ranked second in Asia on the Democracy Index. Its pop culture has considerable influence in Asia and expanding globally in a process called the Korean Wave. South Korea is East Asia's highest ranked developed country in the Human Development Index. Its citizens enjoy a very high standard of living, having Asia's highest median per-capita income and average wage with the world's 8th highest household income. Globally, it ranks highly in education, quality of healthcare, ease of doing business and job security. It leads OECD countries in student skills with the highest percentage of youths holding a tertiary education degree. Ranked as the most innovative country by Bloomberg, it is the world's most research and development intensive country, driven by high-tech chaebols such as Samsung, Hyundai-Kia and LG. A world leading information society, South Korea has the world's fastest Internet connection speed, ranking first in e-Government, 4G LTE penetration and second in the ICT Development Index and smartphone usage.



Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from Wikipedia.org, 2015. (http://www.wikipedia.org/)

1.  Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank’s Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

3.  The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005, and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005, and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports 2008. A data file with all of the 2008 coding, as well as data files with other cross national collections are available for preview and download from the data archive on this site. Used with permission.

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