Half of All Foreign Residents in Korea Are Chinese

  • By Kim A-sa

    June 16, 2016 10:33

    The number of foreigners living in Korea has more than doubled over the last decade to 1.9 million people.

    According to immigration census data released on Wednesday, the proportion of foreigners in the population rose from 1.5 percent in 2005 to 3.7 percent last year.

    Most were Chinese with 955,870 people or 50.3 percent of the foreign population, followed by Americans (138,660 or 7.3 percent), Vietnamese (136,760 or 7.2 percent) and Thais (93,350 or 4.9 percent).

    Meanwhile, the number of foreign visitors to Korea increased 10 percent per year until 2014 but dropped 6.3 percent last year to 13.36 million due to the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

    During June to September last year, when the MERS outbreak raged, there was a whopping 30.7 percent drop on-year in foreign visitors.

    Chinese also made up the largest group of visiting foreigners with 46 percent or 6.15 million, followed by 1.86 million Japanese, 859,000 Americans and 551,000 Taiwanese.

    A total of 19.58 million Koreans traveled abroad last year, up around 19 percent compared to 2014.

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