South Koreans spent nearly $30 billion on education in 2008, more than in any previous year, despite the deepening economic downturn, official figures showed on March 29.
The increase, due largely to a rise in spending on private teaching including English-language learning, indicated South Koreans were reluctant to cut back on education despite a dramatic economic slowdown.
Household spending on education reached an all-time high of 39.8 trillion won (US$9.5 billion) in 2008, up 7.7% from a year earlier, the Yonhap news agency said, citing Bank of Korea figures.
The global financial crisis has dampened consumer spending in South Korea and fueled a rise in unemployment.
The country's per-capita gross national income fell to $19,231 last year from $21,695 in 2007.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009