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North Korea Table of Contents

North Korea


Population: Estimated 21.8 million as of July 1991; 177 people per square kilometer in 1989. Annual growth rate 1.8 percent for 1985-89, per United Nations (UN) estimate, and approximately 1.9 percent in 1991. Life expectancy at birth approximately sixty-six years for males, almost seventy-three years for females in 1991. UN estimates 33 percent rural, 67 percent urban population in 1990. Ethnic homogeneity; 100 percent Koreans.

Language: Korean.

Religion: Buddhism, Confucianism, and some Christians and native Ch'ndogyo religious adherents, although religious activities almost nonexistent.

Education and Literacy: Free, compulsory, universal (technical) education for eleven years, ages four to fifteen. Literacy estimated over 90 percent. In 1987 pre-first level (nursery schools, kindergartens) 16,964 schools, 35,000 teachers, and 728,000 pupils; first level (elementary/primary schools) 4,813 schools, 59,000 teachers, 1,543,000 pupils; second level (vocational/technical, middle/secondary, high school, teacher training schools) no figures available; and third level (universities and equivalent institutions) 39,000 students--34 percent female, 27,000 teachers--19 percent female. Several new universities reported founded in 1992, for a total of 270 universities and colleges.

Health: National medical service and health insurance system. In 1989 consumption of estimated 2,823 calories per day to meet all requirements. No acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases reported as of 1990. Infant mortality rate thirty deaths per 1,000 live births in 1992.

Data as of June 1993