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Roy Bahl:

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Seoul , the capital of South Korea , has a population approaching six million , and is one of the largest cities in the world . The composition of employment in metropolitan Seoul shows that its economic base is dominated by trade, services, and government - only approximately two of every ten employed persons work in the manufacturing sector. The level of income was $390 per capita in 1970. The rate of population in-migration to Seoul has been substantial, as evidenced by the differential between the average annual population growth rate of the nation as a whole (2.3 percent) and that of Seoul (10.2 percent) . This rapid growth in population places a strain on existing infrastructure, adds to capital expenditure needs, and creates pressures on the level of current expenditures . When in-migrants are relatively lower income families, the growth of tax base due to in- migration may not be adequate to cover the increased expenditure demands. The level of public infrastructure in Seoul is still inadequate and in need of expansion. Nevertheless, the city has made considerable progress in mobilizing its financial resources, and meeting the needs of its fast growing population. (Note : the government of Seoul Special City, abbreviated here to SSC, covers a large metropolitan area.


Published in

Bahl, Roy and Michael J. Wasylenko. "Urban Finance in Seoul. Development Digest, April 1976, 14(2), 20-30. Agency for International Development, Dept. of State.

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