A quarter of all Koreans leave their hometowns in search of work, a trend especially evident in North Gyeongsang and South Jeolla provinces.
According to a study based on family registration records in metropolitan cities and provinces by the Supreme Court, most people come from Seoul with 9.78 million, followed by North Gyeongsang Province (6.26 million), Gyeonggi Province (5.86 million) and South Gyeongsang Province (5.28 million).
The domicile on family registers is supposed to be the hometown, but under a new law from 2008 to prevent regional discrimination, people can now freely change their domicile and their hometown may actually be somewhere else.
A Supreme Court official said people from outside metropolitan areas moved to cities to study and work, which can have a direct and indirect impact on elections in metropolitan areas.
As of Oct. 23, the country's population stood at 54.35 million according to the number of people listed in family registers compared to 51.28 million based on resident registration. The difference, according to the Supreme Court, most likely stems from the inclusion of people who do not have separate resident ID cards, usually because they live abroad.