Korea's Population to Peak at 53 Million in the Next 15 Years

  • By Shon Jin-seok

    December 02, 2016 12:51

    Korea's population is expected to peak at 53 million in a decade and a half before gradually dwindling, according to official government estimates. Statistics Korea is to announce its population projection next week.

    Population projections are announced every five years. In its last forecast in 2011, Statistics Korea projected the population would peak at only 52.16 million in 2030, but the latest estimate adjusts the figures upwards to take account of immigration trends.

    The total population consists of citizens and foreigners who have lived in Korea for more than three months, and the number of long-term foreign residents is growing.

    As of November 2015 Korea had a population of 51.07 million, 1.36 million of whom were foreign residents.

    The working-age population between 15 and 64 remains the same as in 2011 and is expected to start shrinking after a peak of 36.38 million this year.

    An official at the Ministry of Strategy and Planning said, "If a Japanese-style low-growth phase continues for a long time and a sense of crisis heightens, there is a possibility of relaxing our immigration policy. In that case the population could increase above the projection."

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