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Country Profile of Republic of Korea

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics Korea (KOSTAT)
Web address
http://www.kostat.go.kr/eng
Position in the government
Statistics Korea is the central organization for statistics under the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
Organizational structure and finance
The establishment, organization and functions of KOSTAT are stipulated under the Ministry of Strategy and Finance by the Government Organization Act.
As of August 2009, the KOSTAT has 6 bureaus, 4 offices, 23 divisions and 7 teams at the headquarter. And the KOSTAT operates the Statistical Training Institute (STI), Statistical Research Institute (SRI), 5 local offices and 49 local branch offices. KOSTAT employs a total of 2,258 staff members as of August 2009. (554 employees at the headquarter, 24 staff in the STI, 40 staff in the SRI and 1,639 staff in local offices respectively)
Multi-annual or annual work program
All divisions in the KOSTAT plan the annual work program for next year focusing on developing and improving the quality of survey or statistics.
Main duties
The Korean statistical system is decentralized: each ministry or non-government agency has the responsibility to compile various statistics related to its own field. Such ministries and agencies include the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, etc. Each unit is in charge of the compilation of statistics and the production of statistics for its own policy purposes. The statistical department of the Bank of Korea is also one of the major agencies compiling official statistics.

Under these circumstances, KOSTAT, which is the central government authority in charge of statistics, plays a key role in the Korean statistical system. It has the responsibility of coordinating the national statistical services as well as compiling fundamental statistics and disseminating integrated statistical information.


Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The Bureau of Statistics was established in 1948 in the Office of Public Information just after the establishment of the new government of Korea. At that time, the Bureau of Statistics had 4 divisions: general affairs, planning, population census and vital statistics. The Bureau of Statistics was transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1955 and its function was extended from the compilation of population statistics to the compilation of population and economic statistics.
In 1961, the Economic Planning Board (EPB) was established to formulate and coordinate the national economic development plan. The EPB was based on four bureaus; two from the Ministry of Construction, and one each from the Ministry of Finance and from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Bureau of Statistics). Thus the Bureau of Statistics was transferred again and put under another ministerial level organization, namely the EPB, and the name of the bureau was changed in 1962 to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBOS), the predecessor of National Statistical Office. From 1961, until the end of the 1980's, the NBOS contributed to the foundation of national economic development plans by producing fundamental statistics and coordinating the national statistical services.
In December of 1990, due to the increasing importance of national statistical services with the growth of the economic strength in the 1980's, the NBOS was enlarged and upgraded and the name was changed to the Korea National Statistical Office (hereafter referred to as the KOSTAT), an assistant ministerial level organization. Since the governmental reorganization in 1994, the KOSTAT has been within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance and Economy which comprises the EPB and the Ministry of Finance.
In 1995, according to the rapid change of internal and external situations, the KOSTAT set up a Statistical Information Division and an International Statistics Division.
In 1998, the Statistical Survey Bureau was divided into the Economic Statistics Bureau and the Population & Social Statistics Bureau, and the KOSTAT established the Agriculture & Fishery Statistics Division with reception of agricultural and fishery statistics from the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Additionally, the KOSTAT founded 26 sub-local offices.
In 1999, the Statistical Training Center and the Division of Statistical Development in the Bureau of Statistical Planning was abolished. The Division of Statistical Research was renamed as the Division of Statistical Development and transferred to the Bureau of Statistical Planning. The Division of Service Industry Statistics was newly established within the Bureau of Economic Statistics, and the Division of Trade & Price Statistics was renamed as the Division of Price Statistics (4 bureaus, 19 divisions, 12 local statistics offices and 35 sub-local branch offices).
In 2000, the KOSTAT was able to appoint a Director-General of Statistical Information Service Bureau on contract and designated Chungnam Statistics Office as the organization in charge of operation.
In 2002, the KOSTAT transferred the production of fishery statistics to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
In 2004, the Statistical Research & Development Division (15 officials) was newly established within the Statistical Planning Bureau, and the International Statistics Division was renamed the International Statistical Cooperation Division (4 bureaus, 20 divisions, 12 local statistics offices and 35 sub-local branch offices). The Reform & Personnel Division was newly established within the Statistical Planning Bureau and the Planning Division was abolished.
In 2005, the Statistical Training Institute was newly set up aiming at training KOSTAT personnel on innovation works and nurturing statistical experts. The Statistical Training Institute consisted of the Training Planning Division and the Training Management Division. The KOSTAT reinforced the functions related to statistical policies, statistical geographic information and supported the development of regional statistics for the purpose of reinforcing national statistical infrastructure and reforming statistical activities. The KOSTAT had 1 training institute (2 divisions), 12 local statistics offices and 35 sub-local branch offices).
In 2005, The KOSTAT was also upgraded to the Deputy Ministerial level. The 4th graded local branch offices were renamed the Local Statistics Offices with a view to continuing innovation works of national statistics and reinforcing the functions such as mid-term financial planning, coordination & quality management of national statistics, as well as support of regional statistics. The KOSTAT had 1 office, 4 bureaus, 3 officers, 20 divisions, 3 teams and 1 unit in the headquarters. And the KOSTAT had 1 training institute (2 divisions), 12 local statistics offices and 35 sub-local branch offices.
In 2006, The KOSTAT founded the Statistics Research Institute to develop and supply new statistics, and established the Audit & Inspection Officer to reinforce auditing function. And the KOSTAT introduced the high-ranking official pool.
In 2008, the production work of agriculture and fishery statistics was transferred to KOSTAT from the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Fisheries according to the revision of “Government Organization Act.”
As of 2009, KOSTAT is consist of 6 bureaus, 4 offices, 23 divisions and 7 teams in the headquarter while operating the Statistical Training Institute (STI), Statistical Research Institute (SRI) and 5 local offices and 49 local branch offices.


Legal basis
Legal basis
Statistical Act, lastly amended by Law No. 10196, March 31 2010
It covers 'definition of statistics, approval for compiling statistics, obligation to report in designated statistical survey, confidentiality, prohibition of the use of data for other than statistical purposes, etc'.



Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
The Korean statistical system is decentralized. So each agency compiles statistics related to its own field for its needs. The total number of agencies of producing statistics are 375 including the KOSTAT: 39 central governmental agencies, 37 governmental agencies, 260 local government, 77 designated agencies.


Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
The National Statistics Committee, established by the Government Organization Act No. 4 and Statistical Council Rules (Presidential Decree No. 21579, amended June 30 2009) is a consultative body to the Commissioner of the KOSTAT on statistical matters. The Council plays an important role in assisting the KOSTAT in relation to its coordinating function of national statistical activities.
In response to the requests of the Minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Council deliberates on matters pertinent to (1) the approval, suspension or alteration of surveys and compilation of statistics, (2) the publication of statistics, (3) the analysis of statistics, (4) the development and improvement of statistics, and (5) the establishment and amendment of statistical standard classifications. In particular, the Council submits reports and/or recommendations on the development and improvement of statistics to the Minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
As chairman, the Minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance assembles the Council whenever it is needed. The Council is composed of the chairman (the Minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance), sixteen ex officio members who represent major statistical agencies and using agencies and ten entrusted members who are appointed by the Minister of the Ministry of Strategy. Under the Council five committees are incorporated to deal with special and technical matters of statistics. They are the Sub-committee for Policy, the Sub-committee for Economic statistics, the Sub-committee for Social statistics, the Sub-committee for statistics on quality management and the Sub-committee for regional statistics.

In response to the requests of the Commissioner of the KNSO, the Council deliberates on matters pertinent to (1) the approval, suspension or alteration of surveys and compilation of statistics, (2) the publication of statistics, (3) the analysis of statistics, (4) the development and improvement of statistics, and (5) the establishment and amendment of statistical standard classifications. In particular, the Council submits reports and/or recommendations on the development and improvement of statistics to the Commissioner.
As chairman, the Commissioner of the KNSO assembles the Council whenever it is needed. The Council is composed of the chairman (the KNSO Commissioner), fifteen ex officio members who represent major statistical agencies and using agencies and fifteen entrusted members who are appointed by the Commissioner.
Under the Council six or seven-committees are incorporated to deal with special and technical matters of statistics. They are the Sub-committee for Statistical Standards and Coordination, the Sub-committee for Population Statistics, the Sub-committee for Social Statistics, the Sub-committee for Economic Statistics, the Sub-committee for Price Statistics, the Sub-committee for Information Management and the special Sub-committee for Quality Management on Statistics.


Data collection
Most recent population census
1 November 2005
(2010 population census is planned to be implemented on November 2010. )
Access to administrative data
The Commissioner of KOSTAT can require the use of administrative data of other administrative organizations. Additionally, taxation data can be utilized in the completion of statistics due to the revision of the Framework Act on National Taxes as of February 2009.
Data confidentiality
The KOSTAT publishes an advance release calendar once a year on its website. It covers 'title of statistics, responsible division, release date, etc.'


Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
The KOSTAT publishes an advance release calendar once a year on its website. It covers 'title of statistics, responsible division, release date, etc.'
Main publications
Nine composite Statistics are published including the 「Monthly Statistics of Korea」and 「Korea Statistical Yearbook」. They contain various kinds of data and figures such as composite indexes of business indicators announced monthly by KOSTAT, current trends of industry & price, statistical data of labor and wage & household income.
Sixteen publications related to population and employment areas are produced such as the 「Population and Housing Census Report」,「Annual Report on the Vital Statistics」,「Monthly Report on the Economically Active Population Survey」.
Statistics concerning price, household and social area such as the「Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Survey」,「Annual Report on the Household Income and Expenditure Survey」,「Report on the Social Survey」are made for the public through 10 publications.
Eighteen publications related to agriculture, forest and fishery are prepared such as the 「Census of Agriculture」,「Farm Household Economy Survey Report」,「Fishery Household Economy Survey」.
Seventeen statistical books related to business and industrial areas are published such as the 「Composite Indexes of Business Indicators」,「Annual Report on Monthly Industrial Production Statistics」,「Report of E-Commerce and Cyber Shopping Survey」,「Report on Mining and Manufacturing Survey」.
Two publications related to comparative international statistics are produced such as the 「Monthly Bulletin of International Statistics」and「International Statistics Yearbook」. All of the data from domestic and international statistical institutions are also compiled.
Finally, new publications containing the country’s “non-financial assets” and “consumer durables” are published such as the 「National Wealth Statistics」,「Development of Korea Statistics」, and 「The World viewed through Statistics」.

E-book and Online Publication Service
The statistical data that KOSTAT produces is also available in the form of electronic book and online publication. E-books and online publications can be found on the website of KOSTAT.
Users can view the identical statistical tables as those of the printed books on the website as well. Twenty eight kinds of statistical books are serviced on the website.
In addition, KOSIS provides 41 online publications containing statistical tables. Users can download statistical tables and analyze data according to individual need.
Following the general trends in the digital publication industry, KOSTAT will endeavor to expand the scope of its service for digital format publications while reducing the printed format.
Languages of main publications
Korean, English.
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
The provision of statistical data is made through various means of publicity such as publications, diskettes, magnetic tapes, on-line database system(KOSIS, http://kosis.kr/nsportal/eng ), tabulation for special requests, etc.
Availability of microdata for research purposes
KOSTAT provides the raw (micro) data to users including researchers only for statistical purposes. But this excludes clients overseas.




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