DPRK Economic statistics

The DPRK ceased publishing economic performance statistics (Net Material Product-NMP tables) in 1965, and the last state budget was announced for FY 2001 (21,570,800,000 won), but no budget numbers have been reported since, only percentage increases and composition percentages.

Today, the DPRK releases economic data only on rare occasions, but aside from the lack of availability, there are numerous other problems with using the DPRK’s economic data to obtain credible insight into the North Korean economy.  As a result, governments, academic organizations, NGOs, think tanks, businesses and journalists compile estimates of North Korea’s economic performance through a variety of innovative techniques. Below I list the most frequently cited sources of North Korean economic statistics.  Additional suggestions are welcome.

Quick References

1. Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book (USA)

2. North Korean Statistics (Statistics Korea–in Korean only)

3. Information System for Resources of North Korea (I-RENK–in Korean only)

5. Department of State profile of North Korea (USA)

6. Bank of Korea (South Korea)
-DPRK Economy 2019: English PDF (2020-7-31)
-DPRK Economy 2018: English PDF (2019-8)
-DPRK Economy 2017: English PDF, Korean PDF (2018-7-20)
-DPRK Economy 2016: English PDF, Korean PDF (2017-7-21)
-DPRK Economy 2015: English PDF (2016-7-22)
-DPRK Economy 2014: English PDF, Korean PDF (2015-7-17)
-DPRK Economy 2013: English PDF, Korean PDF (2014-6-27)
-DPRK Economy 2012: English PDF (2013-7-12)
-DPRK Economy 2011: English PDF (2012-7-9)
-DPRK Economy 2010: English PDF (2011-11-3)
-DPRK Economy 2009: English PDF, Korean PDF (2010-6-28)
DPRK economy 2008 (published 2009-6-28)
DPRK economy 2007 (published 2008-6-18)
DPRK economy 2006 (published 2007-8-16)
DPRK Economy 2002
DPRK Economy 2001
DPRK economy 1999

7. Ministry of Unification (South Korea)
MoU DPRK Information Portal (Korean only)
English web page
Leadership Structure
Weekly Reports
Data and Statistics
Inter-Korean Exchanges
Resettlement Manual

8. Visit Angus Maddison‘s web page for table of GDP/per capita GDP over time. His data is in an excel spreadsheet called “Statistics on World Population, GDP and Per Capita GDP, 1-2006 AD “.

9. Sanctions information: US Treasury Department information on North Korea. Here are the changes to the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List since 2015-1-1. Here is the US Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals List datbase. US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security and Consolidated Screening List. UNSC Panel of Experts list of sanctioned individuals and organizations (English) (Korean). UK list of sanctioned individuals and organizations (2016-5-20)

10. Country Data Report for Korea, North, 1996-2009 (World Bank)

11. International Energy Agency (IEA) data on the DPRK. To access the data, go to the “Countries Beyond the OECD” box and select “Korea, Democratic Peoples Republic of”.

12. U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants to North Korea

13. CIA FOIA Library

14. Eberstadt, Nicholas, North Korea’s “Epic Fail” in International Perspective, Asan report, November 2015.

15. Major Statistics Indicators of North Korea (Statistical anthologies)

16. North Korea in the World (NCNK)

17. KOTRA reports: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

18. Bank of Korea Working Papers

19. WHO country cooperation strategy Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: 2014-2019

20. State of the Environment 2003


1. CRS reports on North Korea are here.

2. Assessing the Economic Performance of North Korea, 1954-1989: Byung-Yeon Kim, Suk Jin Kim, Keun Lee

3. Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (link)
North Korea Development Report 2003/04 (Summary)
North Korea Development Report 2002/03 (Summary)

4. Nautilus Institute:
Foundations of Energy Security for the DPRK: 1990-2009
2010 DPRK energy and minerals working group: von Hippel, Yoon, Aden, Choi, Hayes/Hippel
Status and Future of the North Korean Minerals Sector, Edward Yoon
Trade with China 1995-2009 (June 2011). August 2006 version here.
DPRK Briefing Book
Strategies for the Rehabilitation of the DPRK Energy Sector

5. The (Non) Impact of UN Sanctions on North Korea (PDF) by Marcus Noland

6. US Geological Surveys of North Korea: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994.

7. Minerals Yearbook: 2012, 2013, 2014

8. DPRK Economic Statistics Project (March 2009)

9. Guidebook for European Investors in the DPRK by the EU-Korea Economic Cooperation Agency

10. North Korea Inc., John S. Park, US Institute of Peace

11. Criminal Sovereignty: Understanding North Korea’s Illicit International Activities, Strategic Studies Institute

12. Coming in from the Cold? An Update on North Korea’s External Economic Relations, Institut Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI)

13. Role of International Financial Institutions in North Korea’s Economic Development, Samsung Economic Research Institute, November 2009

14. North Korea: Migration Patterns and Prospects, Courtland Robinson, JHU

15. “Western Aid: The Missing Link for North Korea’s Economic Revival?”, AEI Working Paper, Nicholas Eberstadt

16. Chinese Infrastructure and Natural Resources Investments in North Korea, Daniel Gearin, October 10, 2010

17. “Integration in the Absence of Institutions: China-North Korea Cross-Border Exchange” and “Networks, Trust, and Trade: The Microeconomics of China-North Korea Integration” by Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland.

18. Korea Development Institute (KDI) published a monthly article in Korean called “KDI Review of the North Korean Economy”. See publications here (in Korean).

19. Financial Tracking Service (Learn about FTS here)

20. Economic Issues: Perspectives on North Korea

21. North Korea’s Per Capita GDP and Comparison with South Korea by Kim Cheon-koo

United Nations Documents

1. Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1718 (2006) Panel of Experts reports:

S/2020/840 (2020-8-28)
Midterm report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2515 (2020)
S/2020/151 (2020-3-2)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2464 (2019)
S/2019/691 (2019-8-30)
Midterm report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2464 (2019)
S/2019/171 (2019-3-5)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2407 (2018)
S/2018/171 (2018-3-5)
Final Report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2017)
S/2017/742  (2017-9-5)
Midterm Report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2017)
S/2017/150 (2017-2-27)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2207 (2016)
S/2016/157 (2016-2-24) (Summary 1, Summary 2)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2207 (2015)
S/2015/131 (2015-2-23)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2141 (2014)
S/2014/147 (2014-3-6)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2094 (2013)
S/2013/337 (2013-6-11)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 2050 (2012)
S/2012/422 (2012-6-4)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 1985 (2011)
S/2010/571 (2010-11-5)
Final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to resolution 1874 (2009)

2. UN Food security assessment: November 2013
Previous reports: November 2012, November 2011, March 2011, November 2010, December 2008, November 2004, October 2003,

3. UNFPA 2008 census of DPRK (Results summary). UNFPA 2008 DPRK census (Full report).

4. WFP’s operation Nutrition Support to Women and Children in DPR Korea: December 2013
Previous reports: Performance report (July 1, 2012 – June 31, 2013), June 2013, March 2013.

5. UNFAO data. UNFAO North Korea Page.

6. Sanctioned individuals and organizations (in Korean) (2014-7-30)

7. Older reports
Final Report of the National Nutrition Survey 2012 (October 2012)
– UNDP Economic Outlook of the Northeast Asia Region, Tumen secretariat (Part 1, Part 2), 2009
DPRK Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2009
DPR Korea State of the Environment: 2003 (PDF).
DPRK Korea’s Rajin-Songbon Economic and Trade Zone Investment and Business Guide, UNDP, 1998

8. Other UN sites
DPRK country page at WIPO

Data and databases

1. US Census Bureau:
US-DPRK Trade 1992-20013, also see here.
U.S. Imports from DPRK-End Use Code (2003-2009)
U.S. Exports to DPRK-End Use Code (2003-2009)
Population forecast 1994-2020.

2. UN Statistics division: North Korea

3. UN Comtrade database (merchandise trade data). Here is a small tutorial on how to use it.

4. PR China trade database

5. South Korean Statistical Information Service.

6. World Trade Search

7. International Trade Center (ITC) Trade Map


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