South Korea's spending in public sector social welfare is about 60 percent the level of the OECD average.
According to updated health ministry data, the country's social expenditure of 236 trillion won in 2019 was up 14 percent on-year and accounted for 12-point-three percent of gross domestic product.
The ministry believes the rise is due to expanded use of long-term care services and an increase in the number of people receiving pension, childcare benefits and basic living stipends.
Despite the increase, social expenditure in proportion to GDP is still lower than other OECD member countries.
European nations had the highest percentage of social spending at close to or over 30 percent of GDP while only Chile and Mexico had a lower ratio than Korea.
The average of 38 surveyed OECD members stood at 20-point-one percent.