The number of super-rich South Koreans with financial assets of 1 billion won ($884,955) or more has more than doubled over the past decade, data showed Wednesday.
According to 2020 Korea Wealth Report released by KB Financial Group Research Institute, the number of individuals that own 1 billion won or more in financial assets reached 354,000 in the end of 2019, up 9.6 percent from 323,000 in the end of 2018 and more than doubling 160,000 in the end of 2010.
The number of rich individuals with more than 1 billion won in assets rose by an annual average of 9.2 percent over the past 10 years, outpacing the country’s annual average population growth at 0.47 percent.
The total value of their financial assets also nearly doubled from 1,158 trillion won in 2010 to 2,154 trillion won in 2019. The growth accelerated faster than that of the country’s total financial assets held by households that jumped from 2,186 trillion won to 3,760 trillion won during the same period.
In assets of the rich in Korea, real estate properties made up 56.6 percent and financial assets 38.6 percent. Property ownership accounted for 51.4 percent of their assets in 2016, which increased to 52.2 percent in 2017, 53.3 percent in 2018, 53.7 percent in 2019, and 56.5 percent in 2020.
The financial research institute said that the price of apartments owned by the billionaires rose sharply over the years amid skyrocketing housing prices in Seoul since 2015.
The criteria of the rich also have changed. The 2020 survey showed the rich should have minimum 7 billion won versus 5 billion won a decade ago.
The institute said that the standard of being rich has increased amid inflation and growth in the number of wealthy individuals.
By Lee Eun-joo
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