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What is considered rich in Korea?


Korea is known for its economic growth and success, and with that comes a distinct perception of what it means to be wealthy. Despite the country’s rapid development, there are still varying opinions on what constitutes being rich in Korea. This article will explore the different factors that determine wealth in Korea, including salary, assets, and social status.

Historical Perspective

Throughout Korean history, wealth has been determined by social status and land ownership. During the Joseon Dynasty, the aristocracy held vast amounts of land and were considered the wealthiest citizens. However, after the Korean War, the focus shifted to industrialization and modernization, leading to a rise in salary-based wealth.


In modern Korea, salary is one of the primary indicators of wealth. A salary of around 100 million KRW (approximately $90,000 USD) is often considered the minimum threshold for being wealthy. However, this varies depending on factors such as occupation, industry, and location. In Seoul, for example, higher salaries are needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle due to the high cost of living.


Aside from salary, assets such as property and investments are also significant indicators of wealth in Korea. Owning a home in a desirable location or having a substantial investment portfolio can elevate one’s status significantly. Luxury goods such as designer clothing and expensive cars are also commonly associated with wealth.

Social Status

Social status is another important factor in determining wealth in Korea. While it’s possible to accumulate wealth through hard work and financial success alone, social connections and family background can also play a significant role. Many wealthy Koreans come from prestigious or influential families and have connections within powerful business circles.

Cultural Norms

Cultural norms also contribute to perceptions of wealth in Korea. While ostentatious displays of wealth are generally frowned upon, there is still a sense of pride associated with owning luxury items or living in an upscale neighborhood. Additionally, many Koreans value education and intellectual pursuits, so advanced degrees or prestigious professional titles can also elevate one’s status.


In recent years, entrepreneurship has become a popular path to wealth in Korea. Startups and small businesses have gained significant attention and investment, with many young people opting to start their own companies rather than pursuing traditional careers. Successful entrepreneurs are often seen as role models and admired for their innovation and hard work.

Generational Differences

Perceptions of wealth can also vary significantly between generations in Korea. Older generations often place more emphasis on traditional indicators of wealth such as salary and social status, while younger Koreans may prioritize experiences and personal fulfillment over financial success.


Gender also plays a role in perceptions of wealth in Korea. While women have made significant strides in the workplace and are increasingly successful, they still face discrimination and barriers to advancement. As a result, men tend to dominate higher-paying industries such as finance and technology, and are more likely to be seen as wealthy.

Regional Differences

Wealth perceptions can also vary depending on the region of Korea. Seoul is the epicenter of business and commerce, so there is a higher concentration of wealth and a greater emphasis on material possessions. In contrast, rural areas may place more value on land ownership or family connections.

The Impact of Wealth

Wealth can have a significant impact on one’s life in Korea. It can affect social standing, career opportunities, and even marriage prospects. Many Koreans aspire to achieve financial success in order to provide for their families and secure their futures.

The Future of Wealth in Korea

As Korea continues to develop and modernize, perceptions of wealth may continue to evolve. The rise of entrepreneurship and the growing importance of social media influencers may lead to new definitions of wealth that are less tied to traditional indicators. However, salary, assets, and social status will likely remain significant factors in determining wealth in Korea for years to come.


In conclusion, being wealthy in Korea is determined by a combination of salary, assets, social status, and cultural norms. While perceptions of wealth may vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and region, successful businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and those with prestigious degrees or connections are generally seen as wealthy. As Korea continues to evolve and change, so too will its definition of wealth.

How rich is the average South Korean?

As of 2022, households with five or more individuals in South Korea had an average wealth of approximately 730.47 million South Korean won, while one-person households had an average wealth of around 211.08 million South Korean won during the same year. This information was reported on February 24th, 2023.

How many Koreans are millionaires?

This table shows the number and percentage of millionaires in different countries or regions. Australia has 2.1 million millionaires, which makes up 3.2% of the world’s millionaires. Italy has 1.4 million millionaires (2.6%), South Korea has 1.3 million (2.0%), and Switzerland has 1.1 million (1.9%). There are 43 more countries or areas listed in the table.

How much does a house cost in Seoul Korea?

In January 2023, the average cost of buying a home in Seoul, South Korea was approximately 912 million South Korean won. Specifically, the average price for apartments was about 1.27 billion South Korean won, while the cost of detached and row houses was around 962.7 and 347 million South Korean won, respectively.

How much money do you need to be a millionaire in Korea?

Individuals who possess financial assets that amount to a billion or more South Korean won are deemed to be millionaires in this context. This is equivalent to 0.83 U.S. dollars or 0.74 euros per 1,000 South Korean won as of March 2022.

Who is the youngest millionaires in Korea?

Kim Jung-youn, the daughter of gaming mogul Kim Jung-ju, inherited around $2.5 billion in company shares after her father passed away in February of this year. At only 18 years old, she is now officially the world’s youngest billionaire.

How much do I need to live comfortably in Seoul?

Seoul, South Korea has a cost of living that is 22.4% cheaper than New York (excluding rent). A family of four can expect to spend around 4,059.9$ (5,304,153.9₩) per month, while a single person’s estimated monthly costs are about 1,123.0$ (1,467,143.3₩) without rent.

Korea’s rapid economic growth has led to a significant increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires in the country. According to the Korea Herald, there were 119,000 millionaires in Korea in 2020, up from 116,000 in 2019. However, income inequality remains a significant issue, with many Koreans struggling to make ends meet.

Wealth also plays a role in the Korean dating scene, with many young people looking for partners who are financially stable. In some cases, parents may even get involved in their children’s love lives and seek out potential matches based on their social status and financial means.

Despite the importance placed on wealth in Korea, there is also a growing trend towards minimalism and simplicity. The concept of “less is more” has gained popularity among younger Koreans who are seeking to simplify their lives and reduce their environmental impact. This may lead to a shift away from materialistic displays of wealth in the future.

While wealth can bring many benefits and opportunities, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only measure of success or happiness. In fact, studies have shown that beyond a certain point, money does not significantly contribute to overall well-being. Ultimately, what constitutes being wealthy in Korea (and elsewhere) is subjective and can vary greatly depending on individual values and priorities.

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