Our human development figures compared to South Korea

Our human development figures compared to South Korea

Let us first acknowledge this fact: Turkey’s points in the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Index have been increasing much faster than of South Korea’s for the last 14 years.

When South Korea’s index points were 0.628 in 1980, Turkey’s was 0.496 points. In 1990, South Korea jumped to 0.731, while Turkey lagged behind with 0.576 points. In the 10 years since 2000, South Korea leaped to 0.819 points, while Turkey had 0.653 points. However, from 2000 to 2013, South Korea’s increase has been limited; it has reached 0.891, compared to Turkey who has almost doubled South Korea’s speed (0.65 percent) by 1.16 percent to reach 0.759 points.

From 1980 to the present day, in 34 years, both countries have added 263 base points to their index values, but South Korea – with its leap in the first 20 years – was able to ascend, while Turkey remained in the mid-levels of our own league.

There is an example we cite all the time that relates to the reason for this situation. When the 55-65 age groups of the populations of both countries are reviewed, we see 10 percent of this age group in both countries are university graduates. In other words, both countries had sent the same ratio of its children to university just before 1980.   

However, more than 30 years have passed. Now, when we look at the 25-35 age population of both countries, South Korea has 65 percent college graduates that belong to this group, while Turkey only has 17 percent of university graduates. 

Today, we are buying high-tech products made in South Korea for our homes while they, with an optimistic probability, are using textile products made in Turkey. This is the difference.

Let us look at the breakdown of the difference in human development between us and South Korea.
Within the context of “integrating with the world,” South Koreans made 51.2 million international calls between the years 2006 and 2011, while Turks made 16.1 million. On the other hand, South Koreans were called 22.4 million times from abroad, while Turks received 58.3 million calls.

South Korea is a foreign trade country. Its foreign trade is more than even its national income, about 109.9 percent of it; whereas we lag behind, as our foreign trade is 58 percent of our national income.
While 84.1 percent of South Koreans are connected to the Internet, only 45 percent of us are actually connected.

Big difference in education

Some 82.9 percent of South Koreans have at least graduated from middle school, whereas only 49.4 percent of us have. (In other words, the other half of our population has not even graduated from middle school.)

Schooling rates in South Korea are 118 percent for preschoolers, 104 percent for primary schools, 97 percent for middle schoolers and 101 percent for high schoolers. In Turkey, these figures are 29 percent, 102 percent, 89 percent and 61 percent (This last figure rose to about 80 percent after the 12-year compulsory system was introduced) correspondingly.

According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, South Koreans have received 554 points in math, 536 in reading and 538 in science. Our 15-year-olds scored 448, 475 and 463 correspondingly. South Korea spends 5 percent of its national income in education, we spend only 2.9 percent.

While South Korea spends 3.7 of its national income in research and development, Turkey barely spends 0.8 percent. While agriculture corresponds to 2.6 percent of the national income, ours is 8.9 percent.

In South Korea, 99 out of 100,000 people are jailed, in Turkey, this number is 179.
While in South Korea, the number of murders per 100,000 is 2.6, in Turkey, it is 3.3.