The National Statistical Office (NSO) said Wednesday that an average of about 8.7 out of every 100,000 children aged under 15 lost their lives in 2005 in traffic accidents, drowning and other incidents. The top two were Mexico with 13.6 and the United States with 9.2. The average was 5.6.
Traffic accidents accounted for 42.7 percent of the total, followed by drowning at 20 percent. Murder and suicides took up 8.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. Boys accounted for 64 percent of the total.
``The cases of child deaths have declined over the years thanks to better road safety and other social infrastructure. But many children here are still killed in car accidents and from other causes. The data also found that kids from low-income families are more likely to encounter various hazards,'' an NSO official said.
Jeollanam-do is first among administrative divisions, with 12.2 deaths per 100,000.
Other data from the OECD has shown South Korea has the highest suicide rate, its people work the most number of hours (are at work the most I should say), has the highest rate of new TB infections, has a private sector that spends the most on public education, has the largest public school class sizes, is first in elderly poverty, ranks last in health spending, leads in motor vehicle accidents, and leads in accident rates among pedestrians. South Korea, according to the OECD Factbook 2009, is the least happy, and in a category that could go both ways, has one of the lowest birthrates in the world.
On the flip side, South Korea has the lowest obesity rate among OECD nations, the highest level of household internet penetration, is expected to recover the fastest from the current economic crisis, pays its public school teachers the second-highest salaries, has given us the greatest cultural inheritance of everything in the world, and ranks among the top in some academic areas that I don't have time to look into right now. In many of the articles and posts I linked to---sometimes on my own site to give context and revisit older news---you'll find other rankings vis-a-vis the OECD member nations. For example in the article about private sector spending on public education:
Despite high education costs, Korea topped the OECD countries in population that has attained at least upper secondary education among those 25-34 age range. However, the percentage of parents who were satisfied with education quality was lower than the OECD average.
The report also found that Korea had a high ratio of students to teaching staff in higher education institutions. Korea ranked third in annual tuition for state-run universities at $3,883 following the United States' $5,027 and Japan's $3,920. In the case of private universities, the U.S. topped with $18,604. Turkey came next with $14,430 followed by Australia with $7,452 and Korea with $7,406.
However, Korean professors were paid more than the OECD average salary and their working hours were shorter than those of faculties in other countries.
All of this points to one thing: even more than foreigners love to say Korea is "not developed" or "third world"---it is developed, dumb ass, and it's not third world---Koreans love to see how their country compares statistically with others.