Some 1.45 million foreigners now live in Korea, accounting for 2.8 percent of the population. That is more than the population of medium-sized cities like Suwon, Gyeonggi Province or Ulsan and similar to Gwangju's.
The Ministry of Security and Public Administration released a report breaking down the foreign population by region, which shows that the number of resident foreigners, naturalized citizens and children of foreigners has increased by 36,054 or 2.6 percent over the last year.
The number of foreigners in the country rose nearly 20 percent annually since 2006, but it grew by a mere 2.9 percent in 2010 in the wake of the global financial crisis and has remained at a similar level as many foreign workers left when their visa expired last year.
Some 520,906 foreign workers make up 36 percent of all foreign residents, followed by the children of foreigners, Koreans with foreign citizenships, and migrant spouses.
More than half of the foreign residents are Chinese at 53.7 percent or 775,474. Next came Vietnamese (176,988), Americans (69,704) and Filipinos (57,148).
More than half of them live in Gyeonggi Province and Seoul, where a lot of industry is concentrated.
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