Seoul's Population to Fall Below 9 Million in 15 Years' Time

  • By Shin Su-ji

    June 28, 2019 13:01

    Seoul's population is expected to fall below 9 million by 2034 as residents flee to the suburbs, Statistics Korea forecast Thursday.

    Ten years later the working-age population of most major cities will start to fall, except for the administrative city of Sejong.

    Seoul's population is expected to dwindle to 8.995 million in 2034 and 8.32 million by 2047. Seoul's population peaked at 10.14 million in 2009 but has been steadily declining due to high housing prices and relocation of government offices.

    Eleven cities and provinces will experience a loss of population, the most drastic in Busan with an exodus of 740,000 people and Daegu with 460,000. But six cities and provinces will see their population grow, with an increase of 1.2 million in Gyeonggi Province, because it surrounds the capital but prices are lower, and 330,000 in Sejong.

    But the population as a whole will also start declining in 2033 as deaths start to outnumber births.

    The low birthrate and aging population will sharply increase the dependency ratio, or the proportion of people who do not work to those who do. The dependency ratio in 2017 was 36.7 to 100 but will shoot up to 90.9 in 2047.

    Five provinces are expected to suffer a dependency ratio over 100, where a greater number are dependent on a smaller number who work -- 120.6 in South Jeolla Province, 114 in North Gyeongsang Province, 112.3 in Gangwon Province, 110.4 in North Jeolla Province, and 101.4 in South Gyeongsang Province. 

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