S. Korea: 7 in 10 artists earn less than 1 million won a month


Seven in 10 artists in South Korea earn less than 1 million won (US$880) a month, well below the average for all trades, a government report said Thursday. According to the report by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the average annual income of domestic artist households was 42.25 million won in 2017, compared with the nation’s average household income of 57.05 million won. The average annual income of individual artists was 12.81 million won in 2017, up 260,000 won from three years ago, the report noted. But 72.2 percent of artists recorded an annual income of less than 12 million won, or less than 1 million won per month, it said.


As many as 28.8 percent of artists reported no income from their artistic activities, it added. By field, incomes in architecture, comics and broadcasting entertainment were comparatively high, while those of photography, literature and fine arts were lower. The ministry’s report was compiled from one-on-one interviews with 5,002 artists nationwide from May to November 2018. The government has conducted such interviews every three years to reflect data on artists’ welfare and creative environment in its culture policies.




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