June 24, 2011 13:35
A growing number of multicultural families in Korea is changing the nation's demographics.
According to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, the number of children born to a Korean parent and a foreign parent and children born in Korea to two foreign parents stands at more than 150,000. That is up more than 29,000 from last year and a 160 percent jump from 2009.
The majority of the children, around 126,000, are the offspring of mixed couples, and nearly half of the foreign parents are ethnic Chinese, while 37 percent come from Southeast Asia.
Gyeonggi Province had the largest number with around 38,000, closely followed by Seoul with some 25,000. There are currently around 1.3 million foreign residents in Korea, 2.5 percent of the total registered population.
The ratio of foreign residents grew 20 percent a year until 2009, when it dropped to 3 percent due to the global financial crisis, but it rose again last year.
An official from the Ministry of Public Administration said the government plans to introduce new policies to better accommodate the growing number of multicultural children.
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