Getting Koreanized: 45 Facts About Korea
1. South Korea has the highest plastic surgery rate per capita in the world.
2. A newborn Korean baby is considered to be one-year-old at birth, and depending on the birthday, one more year is added on New year’s day.
3. Korea has the fastest internet in the world with lots of free WiFi access everywhere.
4. Almost every Korean eat kimchi every along with their regular food
5. With 2.7 billion views, South Korean singer Psy’s Gangnam style has the most viewed video on Youtube.
6. Food delivery is an extremely common phenomenon in Korea.
7. According to world population view, Seoul is the second largest city in the world with the population just over 25 million.
8. Many Korean schools and academies place more emphasis on passing examinations and not on learning.
9. Most Korean kids attend multiple hagwons (academies) in addition to their regular school and it is not uncommon to see elementary school kids without hobbies because of lack of time.
10. While illegal, some teachers, albeit very few, especially in public schools still use corporal punishments.
11. South Korea leads the chart in the number of liquor consumed per person in a week.
12. Out of 100,000 people, an average of 29 commit suicide every year in Korea
13. After 11 years in a row of having the highest suicide rate in the world per OECD, Guam sits at the top of the chart now with Korea now in second place.
14. More men commit suicide in Korea. In fact, the suicide rate among men in Korea is twice as high as women’s.
15. Speaking of happiness, according to World’s Happiness Report, Korea is ranked 53rd in the world.
16. South Korea is technically still at war with North Korea as no peace treaty was ever signed.
17. In terms of security, according to Global Peace Rankings, South Korea is the 53rd safest country in the world with a safety and security ranking of 5.45.
18. Adultery was recently legalized in 2015 by Korea’s constitutional court.
19. South Korea is the home of the biggest smartphone company in the world, Samsung.
20. Microchips for smartphone giant Apple is made by Samsung.
21. Among OECD countries, Koreans, especially men, have the second highest working hours, with Mexico in the first place.
22. Asking about blood types in considered normal in Korea because most Koreans believe blood types influence personalities.
23. 22% of the Korean population have the surname “Kim”.
24. In 2002, Korean star Harisu became the second person in Korea to legally change genders.
25. There is no mention of same-sex marriage in the Korean constitution.
26. In the military, any sexual relations between members of the same sex is considered sexual harassment.
27. Also in the military, consensual sex among members of the same sex was viewed as “reciprocal rape”, and this law was ruled illegal by a military court in 2010. A decision by Korea’s constitutional court on the issue, as at the time of this writing, is yet to be.
28. Famous Korean movie director Kim Jho Kwang-soo and his partner became the first South Korean gay couple to publicly wed.
29. Even though the happy couple had a public wedding, their wedding isn’t legally recognized as a marriage.
30. Having double eyelids is considered a huge deal in Korea.
31. 80% of Korea population use or own smartphones.
32. Former US president Bill Clinton once described the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as “the scariest place in the world”.
33. About 6.5 million people visit DMZ every year.
34. If impeached, pending the constitutional court ruling, South Korea’s current president Park Geun-Hye will be the first Korean president removed from office.
35. Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, was created by King Sejong in 1443, 572 years ago
36. 26-year-old famous Korean figure skater Kim Yuna has broken countless world records. She is the first female skater to win the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships and the Grand Prix Final.
37. According to Forbes, Kim Yuna is the 7th highest paid female athlete in the world with a net worth of $35 million or ￦40 billion.
38. The average height among males in Korea is 170.7 cm or 5 ft 7 inches, and 157.4 cm or 5 ft 2 inches among females.
39. Women give men gifts on Valentine’s day and on March 14th, which is known as “white day” in Korea, men give their ladies gift.
40. In 1999, a law was passed that requires all internet banking to be done exclusively on internet explorer.
41. Naver, Korea’s biggest search engine, makes more money on ads than every other ad company in Korea combined.
42. Naver is the 5th most used search engine in the world and over 70% of searches in Korea are done using the service.
43. Within two years of its release, Naver chatting app Line attracted over 200 million users and by 2015, it had over 600 million users and 170 million active accounts.
44. Kakaotalk, a free Korean chatting app is available on all platforms – iOS, Android, Bada OS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Nokia Asha and Personal Computer – and is used by 93% of smartphone owners in South Korea.
45. In 2015, Korea Times, an English newspaper in Korea said health authorities were looking into banning drinking of alcohol in public places like parks.
Shout out to be people who pointed out the error on number 2 – Korean age – here and on Facebook and Twitter. We had conflicting sources. We have corrected it. Do you know of any interesting fact that didn’t make it to our list? Tell us in the comment section below. We will be happy to provide sources to these facts. Also, be sure to follow and like Koreanized on