March 04, 2021 11:11
The population of Seoul has fallen below 10 million souls for the first time in more than three decades.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government Wednesday said the capital's official population stood at 9.911 million last year. It reached the 10 million mark in 1988.
Reasons for the shrinkage include the record-low birthrate, flight to the suburbs and the decision of foreign residents to go home during the coronavirus epidemic.
At the end of last year the population consisted of 9.668 million Korean nationals and some 243,000 foreigners with registered addresses in Seoul. The number of locals declined by 60,640 people from a year earlier and that of foreigners by 39,250 people.
Counting only Koreans the population already dropped below 10 million in 2016, but a steady influx of foreigners made up numbers.
As the epidemic put the brakes on work or student visas, Chinese people, the largest foreign group in Korea, dwindled by 32,070.
The low birthrate reduced the number of children aged 0 to four in the country by 10.2 percent.
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