The household savings rate in South Korea
will have plummeted from a world-beating 25.2 percent in 1988 to a
projected world low of 3.2 percent in 2010, according to the OECD.
Here is much more. In fact:
South Koreans work more, sleep less and kill themselves at a higher
rate than citizens of any other developed country, according to the
OECD. They rank first in time spent online and second to last in
spending on recreation, and the per capita birthrate scrapes the bottom
of world rankings. By 2050, South Korea will be the most aged society
in the world, narrowly edging out Japan, according to the OECD.
And here's one problem with aggregate savings rates:
…South Korea ranks first in per capita spending on
private education, which includes home tutors, cram sessions and
English-language courses at home and abroad.
An obsessive pursuit of educational achievement, it seems, is one of
the driving forces behind the low savings rate. About 80 percent of all
students from elementary age to high school attend after-school cram
courses. About 6 percent of the country's gross domestic product is
spent on education, more than double the percentage of spending in the
United States, Japan or Britain.