Korea's Income Distribution is Better Than US

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Korea's Income Distribution is Better Than US

 

September 21, 2004


Korea has better distribution of income than the United States, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said on Sept. 5 in a report on ``income distribution, poverty and healthcare population in the United States.'' The MOFE analysis considered a 2003 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. According to the MOFE report, Korea's GINI's coefficient, an income distribution index, was 0.306 in 2003, lower than 0.464 of the U.S. The GINI coefficient is from 0 - 1, with 0 indicating that the income distribution is more balanced than at 1.

This report is an extract of the Aug. 26 report by the Statistics Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce on the U.S.' income distribution, poverty and healthcare population in 2003. The Department of Commerce said that the poverty line of a 1-member family was $9,393 last year. This accounts for 24.8 percent of the U.S. per capita GDP standing at $37,804 last year.

On the other hand, Korea's poverty line per person was $3,582 (4,269,288won) a year in 2003. The figure is smaller than that of the U.S. but the ratio to the GDP was 28.4 percent, higher than that of the U.S., a ministry official explained.

The poverty population of the U.S. was 34,861,000 last year, an increase of 1,291,000 from the previous year. In particular, the poverty population of children aged less than 18 years was 12,866,000, accounting for 17.6 percent of the total U.S. population, according to the U.S. tally.

All Korean people are subscribed to mandatory medical insurance, while the healthcare population in the U.S. was 84.4 percent of the total population of 243.3 million. Whether the healthcare is public or private, 15.6 percent of U.S. citizens do not have healthcare insurance benefits.

A considerable number of low-income earners of the U.S. have been without medical insurance benefits as more healthcare benefits are available to high-income earners and those with better jobs, according to the Department of Commerce.

In particular, 8,373,000 children, or 11.4 percent of the total minor population less than 18 years old and 286,000, or 0.8 percent of the total elderly population do not receive healthcare insurance in the U.S.

 

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