Thanks to “Squid Game” and the BTS effect, Korean Wave exported nearly 1.5 billion won last year

The total exports stimulated by the Korean Wave increased by about 200 billion won last year.

The Korea Agency for International Cultural Exchange recently published the “2021 Economic Ripple Effect Study of Hallyu.”

The “Economic Ripple Effect Study of Hallyu” quantified the ripple effects of Hallyu, including the Hallyu index, Hallyu consumption behavior, Hallyu export effect, and national economic ripple effect based on a survey of 8,500 Hallyu content consumers in 18 countries and the export data of 16 cultural contents, consumer goods, and tourism business.

K-pop concert

In 2021, the total exports from the Korean Wave were $11.696 billion (about KRW 14.8188 trillion), increased about KRW 200 billion (1.5%) compared to the previous year. Exports of consumer goods related to the Korean Wave increased significantly to 19.2%, recording an increase in total exports related to the Korean Wave. Exports of cultural content due to the Korean Wave have decreased, but this seems to be the result of a significant increase in cultural contents export due to the Korean Wave despite the pandemic in 2020.

The “Korean Wave Index” is an indicator that reflects the popularity and growth of the Korean Wave abroad, and can measure the degree of the Korean Wave spread by country. As a result of this study, the ‘Korean Wave Status Index’ and the ‘Korean Wave Psychology Index’ increased 4.9% and 6.2% respectively compared to the previous year’s survey. As a result of classifying countries based on the “Korean Wave Status Index,” which indicates the current popularity of the Korean Wave, 6 out of 18 surveyed countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, and China, were classified as “Korean Wave Popularization Stage.” All 12 other countries were classified as “Korean Wave Diffusion Stage,” and no country was classified as “Minor Interest Stage” as the UK, which was the only “Minor Interest Stage” last year, has risen to the “Korean Wave Diffusion Stage”.


The “Korean Wave Psychology Index,” which shows the degree of growth and decline of the Korean Wave, also rose in most countries, showing high interest in the Korean Wave and expectations for its future growth. Four countries, including India, Thailand, Vietnam, and the UAE, were in the high growth group, while the remaining 14 countries were in the middle growth group. Even Japan, which had long been classified as a Korean Wave decline group, moved to an intermediate growth group while no country belonged to the Korean Wave decline group.

The survey shows that the Korean Wave’s popularization this year occurred the most in countries where the popularity of Korean Wave remained in the middle and lower ranks in the past, including the U.S., Britain, Australia, and South Africa. This is interpreted to be from the large impact of the global syndrome “Squid Game” and BTS.

The diversity and concentration of Korean Wave content were 5.4% and 41.9%, respectively, up 8.6% and 18.5% from the previous year, while the age and gender gap narrowed due to the increase in men in their 40s and teenagers. It can be said that it has now developed into a global popular content enjoyed by men and women of all ages, not just by a small number of enthusiasts like in the past.

Choi Kyung-hee, head of the research team at the institute, said, “The rise in popularity of Korean Wave in countries with previously low popularity, and the decrease in age and gender consumption gap are very encouraging.”

Source: Daum


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