South Korea had an estimated population of 51,269,185 as of the middle of 2020, according to UN data. Based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest UN data, the country had a population of 51,297,644 in 2021, with 81.8% living in urban areas, mainly in Seoul. The median age of the population was 43.7 years.


The average annual revenue per paying user in South Korea was $1,604 in 2020, according to the PPRO APAC Report. Most cross-border e-commerce purchases by South Koreans are of products from the United States, China and Japan.

Average annual revenue per paying user
$58 billion
Total transaction value

Payment preferences

Most South Korean shoppers prefer to pay by card (73%), followed by bank transfers, e-wallets, cash and other payment methods. For cashless payments, the biggest player was Visa (37%) followed by other schemes, MasterCard, and Amex, according to the 2020 PPRO APAC Report.


According to IMF data, South Korea had a gross domestic product of $1.65 trillion in 2019, which declined to $1.59 trillion in 2020 due to the pandemic. As the economy continues to recover, the GDP is expected to expand to about $1.67 trillion in 2021.

Internet & mobile phone trends

According to Statista, 100% of the population aged 30-39 had internet access in 2019. The percentages of the rest of the population with internet access varied between 89.1% and 99.9%, while only 38.39% of those aged 70 years and above went online regularly. According to Datareportal, South Korea had 49.75 million internet users in January 2021, with an internet penetration rate of 97% in January 2021. Meanwhile, smartphone penetration stood at 94% by the end of 2020, according to the PPRO APAC Report.


According to data compiled by PPRO APAC, 95% of South Koreans had bank accounts in 2020, with 65% of them credit card holders.

Banked population
Cards ownership

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