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Korea
Overview of the education system (EAG 2023)
  • In Korea, 46% of 15-19 year-olds are enrolled in general upper secondary education and 9% in vocational upper secondary education. A further 30% are enrolled in tertiary programmes. This compares to an OECD average of 37% enrolled in general upper secondary programmes, 23% in vocational upper secondary programmes, 12% in lower secondary programmes and 12% in tertiary programmes.
  • In Korea,21% of 25-34 year-olds have a vocational education and training (VET) qualification at short-cycle tertiary level as their highest level of attainment.
  • Although an upper secondary qualification is often the minimum attainment needed for successful labour-market participation,2% of 25-34 year-olds in Korea have not attained an upper secondary qualification, lower than the OECD average (14%).
  • Workers in Korea aged 25-34 with vocational upper secondary attainment earn 9% more than those without upper secondary attainment, whereas the earning advantage for workers with general upper secondary attainment is 6%.
  • In Korea,25-34 year-old workers with bachelor's attainment earn 28% more than their peers without upper secondary attainment, while those with master's or doctoral attainment earn 65% more.
  • Across all levels from primary to tertiary education, Korea spends USD 14 113 annually per full-time equivalent student (adjusted for purchasing power and including expenditure on research and development), compared to the OECD average of USD 12 647.
  • In Korea,26% of teachers in general upper secondary programmes are aged 50 or older, compared to the OECD average of 39%.Teachers in vocational programmes are on average older than their general programme peers, with 32% aged 50 or above (43% on average across the OECD).
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Attainment

    The level of below upper secondary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.6 %, rank 44/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (52.8 %, rank 4/46 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (69.6 %, rank 1/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who have attained a general upper secondary or post-secondary qualification is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (38.4 %, rank 2/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of 25-64 year-olds who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (33.5 %, rank 2/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-olds who have attained a general degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.8 %, rank 5/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The level of short-cycle tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20.8 %, rank 2/33 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of 25-34 year-olds who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (45.7 %, rank 2/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old men who have attained a general degree at the tertiary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (54.5 %, rank 3/46 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained at least upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (98.3 %, rank 1/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained at least upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (98.4 %, rank 1/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (63.3 %, rank 1/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (76.6 %, rank 1/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of 25-64 year-old men who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (35.5 %, rank 2/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old women who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (31.5 %, rank 4/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old men who attained below upper secondary education in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.7 %, rank 44/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old women who attained below upper secondary education in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.6 %, rank 44/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old men who attained below upper secondary education in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7 %, rank 42/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old women who attained upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (21.8 %, rank 40/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained a short cycle tertiary degree is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (22.6 %, rank 3/31 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained a short cycle tertiary degree is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (19.2 %, rank 2/31 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old men with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education in Korea is one of the highest among countries with available data. (35 %, rank 5/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Entrance

    The share of female students entering bachelor's programmes in Korea is relatively small. (49.6 %, rank 37/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctoral or equivalent programmes in Korea is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (44.8 %, rank 35/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the average age of new entrants in bachelor's programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.6 Years, rank 37/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Entrance by field of education and gender

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (62.4 %, rank 35/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (68 %, rank 37/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of female among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Korea is relatively small. (23 %, rank 35/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of women among new entrants in bachelor's programmes in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (66.7 %, rank 35/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of women among new entrants in bachelor's programmes in the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (66.9 %, rank 38/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctoral or equivalent programmes in Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Korea is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (28.3 %, rank 37/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering short cycle tertiary programmes in health and welfare in Korea is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (69.7 %, rank 26/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of male students entering short-cycle tertiary programmes in education in Korea is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (7.9 %, rank 20/23 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16.6 %, rank 40/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in public tertiary educational institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.8 %, rank 40/43 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in independent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (80.2 %, rank 1/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 30-39 year-olds in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.7 %, rank 41/42 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the enrolment rate of children under 3 is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.2 %, rank 1/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of students enrolled in programmes providing full completion and access to tertiary education among all students enrolled in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 18 in general upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.3 %, rank 44/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 18 tertiary programmes in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16.9 %, rank 3/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 18 in vocational upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.4 %, rank 38/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 19 in general upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.2 %, rank 44/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 19 tertiary programmes in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (22.5 %, rank 1/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 19 in vocational upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.1 %, rank 38/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 20 in general upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.1 %, rank 40/43 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 20 tertiary programmes in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18 %, rank 2/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of students aged 20 in vocational upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 38/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes in Korea is relatively low compared to the other countries. (16.1 %, rank 39/41 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, upper secondary vocational students among all vocational students are relatively less numerous than in other OECD or partner countries. (28 %, rank 37/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of vocational students as a share of short-cycle tertiary students is among the largest in all OECD and partner countries. (100 %, rank 1/33 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Short-cycle tertiary students represent a large share of all vocational students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (72 %, rank 1/31 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The average age of short-cycle tertiary students enrolled in vocational programmes is comparativele low. (22.1 %, rank 31/35 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Korea has a share of short-cycle tertiary students enrolled in programmes giving full level completion with access to tertiary education that is higher than other OECD and partner countries; (100 %, rank 1/32 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of below-two year-olds in early childhood education in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (48.1 %, rank 1/71 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among students aged 15-19 in short-cycle tertiary programmes in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.5 %, rank 2/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of two-year-olds in early childhood education in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.5 %, rank 5/80 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among students aged 20-24 in upper secondary programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 42/43 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among students aged 20-24 in upper secondary general programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 39/42 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among students aged 20-24 in upper secondary vocational programmes in Korea is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 36/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among students aged 20-24 in short-cycle tertiary programmes in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.9 %, rank 4/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among students aged 20-24 in bachelor's programmes in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (40.3 %, rank 2/41 , 2021) Download Indicator

    (0.2 %, rank 5/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Graduation

    The average age of graduates from vocational programmes at the upper secondary level in Korea is comparatively low. (18.2 Years, rank 35/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of master's or equivalent graduates in public institutions is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.5 %, rank 33/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of doctorate graduates in public institutions is relatively low in Korea. (35.6 %, rank 35/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates from upper secondary general programmes is one of the smallest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (47.4 %, rank 40/42 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15.2 %, rank 5/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.5 %, rank 40/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (14.2 %, rank 43/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (21.1 %, rank 2/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of STEM is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (50.7 %, rank 3/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.1 %, rank 32/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral or equivalent graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16.1 %, rank 4/45 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral or equivalent graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15.7 %, rank 43/45 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral or equivalent graduates in the field of STEM is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (30.7 %, rank 2/45 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral or equivalent graduates in the field of services is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7 %, rank 5/45 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education and gender

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in the humanities and arts is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (19.4 %, rank 4/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in social sciences, business and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (14.1 %, rank 43/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (37.2 %, rank 42/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (16.6 %, rank 43/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of female tertiary graduates in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.6 %, rank 40/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of male tertiary graduates in the field of arts and humanities is relatively large. (10.8 %, rank 5/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of male tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (14.4 %, rank 43/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of female graduates in tertiary education in all fields is one of the smallest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (51.4 %, rank 41/45 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of female graduates in tertiary education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics is one of the smallest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (26.5 %, rank 41/44 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Korea, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is relatively low. (5.9 %, rank 37/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of business, administration and law is relatively low. (12.6 %, rank 39/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information among all national tertiary students in Korea is relatively low. (5.8 %, rank 35/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of business, administration and law among all national tertiary students in Korea is relatively low. (13.1 %, rank 37/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of new entrants in business, administration and law bachelor's programmes is relatively low, compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (12.7 %, rank 39/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the proportion of new entrants in business, administration and law master's programmes is relatively low, compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.5 %, rank 35/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    The percentage of international students entering bachelor's programmes is relatively low. (2.2 %, rank 32/35 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, international or foreign students from Asia are most represented among all international or foreign students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (94.8 %, rank 2/43 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, international or foreign students from Europe are least represented among all international or foreign students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.5 %, rank 43/43 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of arts and humanities among all international or foreign tertiary students in Korea is relatively high. (21.8 %, rank 2/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of health and welfare among all international or foreign tertiary students in Korea is relatively low. (3.6 %, rank 35/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.8 %, rank 37/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.9 %, rank 36/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1 %, rank 36/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of international doctoral graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20.7 %, rank 5/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of students enrolled in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics among all international or foreign students is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (16.2 %, rank 35/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of students enrolled in the field of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary among all international or foreign tertiary students is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (0.5 %, rank 34/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per secondary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17038 USD Equivalent, rank 4/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the average annual growth in the number of full-time equivalent student (2012 to 2020) at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level is comparatively low. (-2.8 %, rank 45/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2020, the average annual growth in the number of full-time equivalent student from primary to tertiary education is one of the low in Korea among OECD and partner countries with available data. (-2.3 %, rank 42/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Government and private expenditure in education

    In Korea, the total expenditure per full-time equivalent student on primary to tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (58.7 %, rank 26/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Compared to 2015, the share of total government expenditure is comparatively highest in Korea. (139 Index, rank 3/49 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Nature of expenditure

    In Korea, the share of current expenditure on primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (80.6 %, rank 36/36 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of capital expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.9 %, rank 1/36 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of current expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (82.1 %, rank 36/36 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of capital expenditure on primary through tertiary is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15.9 %, rank 2/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of current expenditure on primary through tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (84.1 %, rank 33/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of current expenditure on secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (83.2 %, rank 35/36 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year lower secondary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively low in Korea. (517 Hours, rank 32/33 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively low in Korea. (544 Hours, rank 28/32 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year pre-primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively low in Korea. (767 Hours, rank 23/27 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education (bachelor's, master's, doctorate or equivalent education) is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (34.7 %, rank 32/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (36.6 %, rank 39/42 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially high. (63.9 %, rank 5/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary teachers older than 50 is especially low. (16.1 %, rank 38/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of female teachers younger than 30 in tertiary education is relatively large. (65.8 %, rank 1/35 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in upper secondary education is especially low in Korea. (38.5 %, rank 37/39 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in tertiary education is especially low in Korea. (26.3 %, rank 35/35 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of tertiary teachers older than 50 is relatively high, compared to other countries with data available. (51.2 %, rank 3/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of short-cycle tertiary teachers younger than 30 is relatively low, compared to other countries with data available. (1.4 %, rank 22/23 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of bachelor's, master's and doctoral level teachers younger than 30 is relatively low, compared to other countries with data available. (0.8 %, rank 30/31 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of tertiary teachers younger than 30 is relatively low, compared to other countries with data available. (0.9 %, rank 33/34 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of bachelor's, master's and doctoral level female teachers older than 50 is relatively low, compared to other countries with data available. (24.4 %, rank 31/32 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of women among teaching staff in early childhood educational development is one of the highest, compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (99.8 %, rank 2/22 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The percentage of teachers aged 50 or more in pre-primary education is especially low in Korea (7.1 %, rank 35/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of teachers under 30 in pre-primary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (46.5 %, rank 2/36 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the percentage of upper secondary general education teachers aged between 30 and 49 is relatively high, compared to the other countries with available data. (63.7 %, rank 4/33 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of teachers under 30 in upper secondary vocational education is especially high in Korea. (13.8 %, rank 1/30 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    After 15 years of experience, a pre-primary teacher with typical qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (59346 USD Equivalent, rank 5/28 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    The salary progression from the start to the top of the salary scale for a lower secondary school teacher is among the most rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.81 Ratio, rank 1/35 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Salaries of primary school teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (94489 USD Equivalent, rank 3/35 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    In Korea, total intended instruction time for lower secondary students is among the shortest compared to other countries with available data. (2525 Hours, rank 26/30 , 2023) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the intended instruction time for primary students, in hours per year, is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (655 Hours, rank 27/30 , 2023) Download Indicator

    Classes in in private primary institutions are comparatively large in Korea. (27 Students, rank 3/33 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively large in Korea. (26 Students, rank 4/33 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively low. (79.1 %, rank 42/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 35-44 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (72.4 %, rank 35/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 35-44 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively low. (79.3 %, rank 44/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 45-54 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively low. (83.1 %, rank 41/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 35-44 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (72.4 %, rank 40/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 35-44 year-olds with a short-cycle tertiary education is comparatively low. (75.7 %, rank 28/32 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Employment by gender and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old women with tertiary education is comparatively low. (68.5 %, rank 43/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with tertiary education is compartively low in Korea. (82.5 %, rank 41/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is compartively low in Korea. (69.5 %, rank 43/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with below upper secondary education is compartively high in Korea. (59.6 %, rank 4/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 55-64 year-old women with below upper secondary education is compartively high in Korea. (57.9 %, rank 4/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Compared to other countries with available data, the employment rate of 25-34 year-old men with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low in Korea. (69.5 %, rank 35/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is comparatively low. (3 %, rank 40/43 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 55-64 year-olds with below upper secondary education is comparatively low. (2.6 %, rank 37/41 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (2.8 %, rank 41/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the lowest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (1.2 %, rank 34/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (2.8 %, rank 32/36 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Unemployment by gender and educational attainment

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-old women without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (1.8 %, rank 40/42 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-old women with upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (2.5 %, rank 40/42 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-old men with below upper secondary education is compartively low in Korea. (3.5 %, rank 38/41 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-old women with below upper secondary education is compartively low in Korea. (2.2 %, rank 37/39 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 55-64 year-old women with below upper secondary education is compartively low in Korea. (1.6 %, rank 37/40 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 55-64 year-old women with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is compartively low in Korea. (1.8 %, rank 37/41 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of unemployed 25-64 year-old women with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.5 %, rank 35/36 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Inactivity and educational attainment

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with tertiary education is high in Korea. (18 %, rank 4/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-olds with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high. (30.2 %, rank 2/37 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-olds with a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (18.3 %, rank 5/43 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-olds with a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (19.1 %, rank 2/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-olds with a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (12.2 %, rank 3/40 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-olds with a short cycle tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (18.5 %, rank 4/27 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-olds with a short cycle tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (20.3 %, rank 5/34 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is one of the highest among countries with available data. (18.9 %, rank 2/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Inactivity by gender and educational attainment

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-old women with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high. (37.1 %, rank 5/38 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-old men with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high. (26.7 %, rank 2/36 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-old men with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high. (26.7 %, rank 1/43 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-old women with tertiary education is relatively high. (29.4 %, rank 2/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-old men with tertiary education is relatively high. (13.9 %, rank 2/44 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the inactivity rate of 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education is relatively high. (9.4 %, rank 5/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (63.7 %, rank 27/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (42.3 %, rank 26/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (74.3 %, rank 26/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (42 %, rank 28/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (54.3 %, rank 27/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (27.7 %, rank 29/30 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of worker earning more than twice the median among those with a short-cycle tertiary education degree is comparatively low. (5.4 %, rank 27/31 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Korea, the share of worker earning more than twice the median among those with a tertiary education degree is comparatively . (12.9 %, rank 36/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old workers without an upper secondary education earning more than twice the overall median in Korea is one of the lowest among countries with available data. (0.6 %, rank 36/38 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Compared to other countries with available data, earnings of 25-34 year-olds working full-time and full-year with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education compared to those of adults without an upper secondary education are relatively low in Korea. (106 Index, rank 26/30 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings, gender and educational attainment

    The difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (132 Index, rank 36/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (72.1 %, rank 40/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (70.4 %, rank 28/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (45-54 year-olds with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (65.4 %, rank 26/28 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-34 year-olds with vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (87.5 %, rank 5/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (71.8 %, rank 24/28 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (45-54 year-olds with vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (68.3 %, rank 24/28 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (45-54 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (66.8 %, rank 36/40 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (45-54 year-olds with tertiary education working full-time full-year) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (66.1 %, rank 37/40 , 2021) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    
    
    • On average in OECD countries, the employment rate for younger adults (25-34 year-olds) with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education as their highest attainment is 83% for those with a vocational qualification and 73% for those with a general one.
    • Combined school- and work-based vocational programmes facilitate the transition into the labour market. In Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia and Switzerland, around nine out of ten upper secondary VET students are in a combined school- and work-based programme, but in 10 countries, the share is less than one in five.
    • Vocational education and training (VET) programmes, which often require specific equipment and infrastructure, typically cost more per student than general programmes. On average across OECD countries, expenditure per student is about USD 11 400 in general upper secondary programmes, compared to about USD 13 200 in vocational programmes.
    • On average across OECD countries, 43% of teachers in vocational upper secondary programmes are aged 50 or over. This reflects an ageing VET teacher workforce, and also that some VET teachers join the teaching profession after an industry work experience.
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    • On average across OECD, 20% of adults (25-64 year-olds) still do not have an upper secondary qualification in 2022. Forty percent have an upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary qualification as their highest level of education, the same share as those with a tertiary degree.
    • Employment rates increase as educational attainment increases. Among 25-64 year-olds, the employment rate is 59% for those with below upper secondary attainment. This rises to 77% for adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary attainment and 86% for those with tertiary attainment.
    • Civic engagement tends to increase as educational attainment increases. Across the OECD countries and accession countries participating in the European Social Survey (ESS) Round 10, around 10% of individuals with tertiary attainment have participated in a public demonstration in the previous 12 months, whereas 6% of individuals with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary educational attainment have done so.
    • The most common form of participation in adult learning is non-formal education and training, mostly job related. Slightly more than one in ten adults (25-64 year-olds) participate in non-formal education and training on average across OECD and accession countries reporting data with a four-week reference period, of which almost 80% have engaged in at least one job-related learning activity.
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    • On average, 18% of children under 2 and 43% of 2-year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education (ECEC) programmes in 2021 but other ECEC services also play a significant role. In Japan, 26% of children under 2 and 53% of 2-year-olds are enrolled in ECEC services outside ISCED 0.
    • In Canada, Ireland and New Zealand, vocational programmes mostly serve those who have completed their initial schooling, and less than 12% of 15-19 year-old upper secondary students are pursuing VET. In contrast, there are 11 OECD countries where the majority of 15-19 year-olds enrolled in upper secondary education are in vocational programmes.
    • Most upper secondary VET students are in programmes that offer direct access to tertiary education. Countries where around 30% or more vocational students enrolled in programmes that lead to full level completion without direct access to tertiary education tend to be those with multiple vocational tracks and bridging options to allow progression to higher levels of education.
    • On average, 72% of students who enter upper secondary education graduate within its theoretical duration across countries with available data. Two years after the end of the theoretical duration, the average completion rate has increased to 82%.
    • Students who entered a general upper secondary programme have a higher rate of completion (87%) than those who entered in a vocational programme (73%) in nearly all countries two years after the end of the theoretical programme duration.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic had a very uneven impact on international student flows across countries during the period 2019-2021. While the share of mobile students fell by 6 percentage points in Australia and 9 percentage points in New Zealand, it increased in several countries and remained unchanged in many others.
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    • Across OECD countries, expenditure per student averages around USD 10 700 at the primary level, USD 11 900 at secondary and USD 18 100 at tertiary level. This reflects the fact that higher levels of education often require teachers to have more advanced qualifications and specialised knowledge which are usually accompanied by higher salaries.
    • Vocational education and training (VET) programmes, which often require specific equipment and infrastructure, typically cost more per student than general programmes. On average across OECD countries, expenditure per student is about USD 11 400 in general upper secondary programmes, compared to about USD 13 200 in vocational programmes.
    • Upper secondary vocational programmes receive between 3% and 17% of all funding for primary to tertiary educational institutions. Post-secondary non-tertiary programmes, which are often vocational, receive as much as 7% of funding (in Ireland) and short-cycle tertiary as much as 10% (in Canada).
    • In 2020, on average across OECD countries, 84% of the funding for primary to tertiary educational institutions came directly from government sources, 15% from private sources and 1% from non-domestic (international) sources.
    • Higher education levels tend to have higher teachers' salary costs per student. On average across OECD countries, they rise from USD 3 614 per student in primary education to USD 4 424 in lower secondary education. This is mostly due to a combination of higher teachers' salaries and instruction time, and shorter teaching hours.
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    • Students across the OECD receive an average of 7 634 hours of compulsory instruction during their primary and lower secondary education, ranging from 5 245 hours in Poland to double that in Australia (11 000 hours).
    • Teachers' actual salaries at pre-primary, primary and general secondary levels of education are 81-95% of the earnings of tertiary-educated workers on average across OECD countries and other participants.
    • School heads' actual salaries are more than 51% higher on average than those of teachers across primary and secondary education in OECD countries and other participants.
    • More than three-quarters of the OECD countries have national, or central, examinations in the final years of upper secondary education (in general programmes). A large majority of these countries use these examinations to grant students access to tertiary education.
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - Korea

    Click on the coverpage to see the full OECD iLibrary version
    Key
    Country Reviews for Korea

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    Reference years displayed in the Education GPS correspond to the most common year of reference among countries for which data is available on each variable. Data for the latest available year is preferred and some countries may have provided data refering to a more recent or late year. To know more about possible exceptions on data please click on the "Download Indicator" link on each variable. When a year of reference corresponds to a school year encompassing two years, the reference reads as follows: 2018 for school year 2017/2018.

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS averages. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2021 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.