Sweden are favourites to win their first Russia World Cup 2018 match against former host nation South Korea - Compelo looks at how the two sides match up in economic terms

South Korea and Sweden

South Korea capital Seoul and Stockholm, in Sweden

As the 2018 Russia World Cup enters its second week, Sweden and South Korea will follow up a weekend of upsets when they meet at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium at lunchtime today (18 June).

Sixteen years after co-hosting the 2002 World Cup with Japan and getting all the way to the semi-finals, South Korea has a strong side led by Tottenham striker Son Heung-Min.

Swedish football legend Zlatan Ibrahimović will be absent from the Scandinavian outfit at this World Cup, but the team still looks competitive with Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg and former Panathinaikos striker Marcus Berg.

Both sides could have a tough time getting out of their group, which they share with Mexico and Germany, but will be desperate for a win that will put them above the title-holders following their 1-0 loss on Sunday.

Neither side are favourites to win the tournament, but there is a lot of room between the teams.

William Hill has the odds of Sweden winning at 200/1, while South Korea is on chances of 500/1.

The Google probability calculator estimates that there is a 46% chance of Sweden winning this afternoon’s tie and a 32% likelihood of the sides reaching a draw.

With odds clearly stacked against South Korea, Compelo has checked how its economy fairs against its Nordic opponent.



South Korea, market
The population of the South Korean capital is the same as the entirety of Sweden

Although its land mass is roughly four times that of South Korea’s, the population of the Asian nation is much bigger than Sweden’s.

More than 51 million people call South Korea home while just under 10 million reside in Sweden.

To put this into perspective, the South Korean capital Seoul almost matches the entire population of Sweden, according to UN World Population Prospects figures.

Goal: South Korea


Gross domestic product

Given the disparity in population, it will come as no surprise that the economy of South Korea – possibly the most promising emerging market of Asia – is more than double the size of Sweden’s economy.

South Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $1.4tn (£1.1tn) in 2016 as Sweden produced $514.5bn (£388.1bn), according to World Bank data.

However, the CIA World Factbook put GDP per capita in Sweden at $51,300 (£38,700) in 2017 – a good way above the GDP per capita of $39,400 (£29,700) produced in the Republic of Korea.

Goal: South Korea


Biggest exports

Integrated circuits were the biggest export of the electronics hub South Korea in 2016, accounting for 15% of the country’s exports, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

This means the circuits wired a staggering $91.2bn (£68.8bn) into the South Korean economy as cars, the chief export of Sweden, drove its economy up by $8.2bn (£6.2bn).

Goal: South Korea


Biggest public companies

South Korea, Samsung
The South Korean tech giant Samsung is the country’s highest ranking company

Swedish companies do well on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest public companies.

The country’s three highest ranking firms – Nordea Bank (#199), the car manufacturer Volvo Group (#238) and the bank SEB AB (#433) – all finish in the top quarter of the list.

But the manufacturing economy of South Korea has produced bigger players.

The tech company Samsung Electronics (#14), car manufacturer Hyundai Motor (#147) and computer chipmakers SK Hynix (#200) dwarf their Swedish counterparts.

Goal: South Korea


Wealthiest people

The highest entry on the 2018 Forbes Billionaires list for Sweden is Stefan Persson, the chairman of the high street fashion brand H&M.

Ranking as the world’s 73rd richest man, it is estimated that Persson has a net worth of $16.8bn.

By comparison, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee is worth more than $18.6bn and ranks number 61 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

Goal: South Korea



The level of unemployment in Sweden is almost double that of South Korea’s rate of joblessness, according to the CIA World Factbook.

An estimated 6.6% of Swedes were unemployed in 2017, while just 3.8% of South Koreans faced similar turmoil.

Goal: South Korea


Final score: South Korea 6 – 0 Sweden

Picture: Mario Sánchez Prada/Flickr & Tobias Lindman/Flickr