2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey Revealed 70% Korean Wave Experiencers View K-Content “Positively”

Date Apr 03, 2024


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister YU In Chon, MCST) in collaboration with the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (President JUNG Kil Hwa, KOFICE) announced the results of the “2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey (As of 2023).” This survey examines the usage and perception of Korean Wave content in key foreign countries. The survey expanded its sample size from the previous 800–1,200 participants to 700–1,600 to allow for more detailed analysis.


“Overview of the 2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey (Conducted since 2012)”



Survey Targets

25,000 individuals who have experienced Korean cultural content across 26 countries

Survey Regions

(26 countries)

China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Australia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa

Survey Areas

11 areas related to the Korean Wave

- Drama, entertainment shows, movies, music, animation, publishing, webtoons, games, fashion, beauty, and food


Online survey / November 10–30, 2023



Seven Out of Ten Korean Wave Experiencers Favor Korean Cultural Content


The survey inquired whether participants generally liked the Korean cultural content they experienced, with 68.8% responding positively. The countries with the highest favorability included Indonesia (86.3%), India (84.5%), Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (83.0%), and Vietnam (82.9%), demonstrating high favorability, particularly in Southeast Asia.

When asked how their interest in Korean cultural content has changed compared to a year ago, 89.4% stated it had increased (45.9%) or remained the same (43.5%). Notably, countries with the most significant increase in interest were Egypt (67.6%), India (67.1%), and Saudi Arabia (65.1%), indicating a rise in interest in Korean cultural content in the Middle East over the past year.


K-Pop Tops the List of Associations with Korea for Seven Consecutive Years


When asked about the first image that comes to mind with Korea, K-pop (17.2%) was the most frequent response, marking its seventh consecutive year at the top. Following K-pop were Korean food (13.2%), drama (7.0%), information technology (IT) products/brands (6.3%), and beauty products (5.2%).

Among different age groups, teenagers and those in their 20s responded more frequently with K-pop (23.1% and 20.8%, respectively), while those in their 40s and 50s showed a higher preference for Korean food (13.6% and 17.4%, respectively), highlighting differing associations with Korea by age.


Positive Perception Shifts Toward Korea After Engaging with Korean Cultural Content at 66.1%


The survey also asked how perceptions of Korea changed after engaging with Korean cultural content, with 66.1% reporting a “positive change,” 30.1% “no change,” and 3.8% “negative change.” Countries with the most positive changes were the United Arab Emirates (85.9%), India (85.3%), and Vietnam (84.7%), while Japan (38.8%) and Italy (48.7%) showed lower rates.

The average monthly consumption of Korean cultural content per person was 11.6 hours, with India (18.6 hours), Thailand (18.4 hours), Indonesia (17.0 hours), and Vietnam (16.4 hours) having the highest average consumption. Conversely, Japan (4.4 hours), Canada (5.8 hours), and Australia (6.2 hours) reported less than 10 hours on average, indicating that higher consumption of Korean cultural content correlates with a more positive perception change toward Korea.

However, 32.6% acknowledged negative perceptions of the Korean Wave, citing reasons such as “overly provocative/sensational (24.9%),” “monotonous and clichéd (22.0%),” and “overly commercial (21.1%).”


“Squid Game” and “Parasite” Remain Popular, with “The Glory” Also Gaining Attention

Among Korean drama viewers, “Squid Game” continued to be the most preferred drama, although its popularity decreased from 21.2% in 2021 to 11.3% in 2022 and further to 9.0% in 2023. It still held the top spot, followed by “The Glory” (3.4%) and “King the Land” (2.6%). “Squid Game” was particularly popular in Europe (23.7%) and the Americas (8.3%), while “The Glory” found its audience mainly in the Asia-Pacific region (5.4%).

Korean movies such as “Parasite” (7.9%) and “Train to Busan” (6.0%) maintained the top two spots for five consecutive years. “Parasite” enjoyed high popularity in Europe (10.7%) and the Americas (12.6%), and “Train to Busan” in the Asia-Pacific (8.2%). These films continued to be favored globally on online streaming services (OTT), despite no new releases significantly overtaking them.


Over Half of Korean Wave Experiencers Interested in Korean Products/Services


The survey also revealed that over half (50.7%) of the Korean Wave experiencers expressed interest in purchasing Korean products/services in the future. The highest interest came from Egypt (75.6%), Saudi Arabia (73.0%), the United Arab Emirates (72.9%), Vietnam (72.1%), and India (70.7%), showing a strong preference in the Middle East and Asia.

The most popular Korean products/services were food (64.7%), followed by traveling to Korea (61.8%), dining at Korean restaurants (61.4%), cosmetics (54.0%), and apparel (52.8%). In addition, 57.9% of respondents indicated that consuming K-content influenced their engagement with related industries, demonstrating the significant impact of K-content consumption on industries like food, cosmetics, and apparel.


MCST to Fully Support K-Content Enterprises’ Overseas Expansion, Driving Export Growth of Related Industries


MCST plans to support the overseas expansion of K-content enterprises based on these survey results. The goal is to increase the number of overseas business centers operated by the Korea Creative Content Agency to 25 and establish a business support center in Japan to help Content companies to run their business.

Given the rising interest in K-content in the Middle East and the high intention to purchase Korean products/services, a permanent information center, KOREA 360, will be opened in Dubai, UAE. In addition, a K-Fair will be organized in Jakarta, Indonesia, to showcase Korean Wave cultural content and related industries. The Ministry also aims to foster a favorable perception of Korea through mutual cultural exchanges and international development cooperation, including official development assistance (ODA).

A policy official from the Ministry stated, “By intensively promoting K-content in regions where the Korean Wave is popular and preference for related industries is high, we anticipate doubling the exports of both content and related industries. We will undertake multifaceted efforts, including opening business centers, to expand the reach of K-content even in areas where the consumption of Korean content is relatively low.”