Korea's Indigenous Population Shrinks Below 50 Million

  • By Hwang Ji-yoon

    July 28, 2023 11:08

    Korea's population continued to shrink for a second year in 2022, but the drop was not as steep as in 2021 due to an increase in foreign residents as lockdown ended.
    According to Statistics Korea, the country's total population shrank by 0.1 percent to 51.69 million last year after falling for the first time the previous year.
    While Koreans dwindled by 0.3 percent to 49.94 million last year, the number of foreign residents jumped six percent to 1.75 million.
    Kim Seo-young at Statistics Korea said, "The coronavirus pandemic led to a drop in immigration, but now it's rising again."
    The foreign population in Korea is overwhelmingly young, with 28 percent in their 30s, 24 percent in their 20s and 16 percent in their 40s. That means most are of working age.
    Korea's indigenous population, by contrast, continued to age, with 18 percent now over 65, up four percentage points from five years ago.
    Naturalized Koreans or foreign spouses of local citizens increased 21 percent from five years ago to 398,000 and around four percent compared to a year ago. Some 32 percent were ethnic Koreans from China, 22 percent Vietnamese and 19 percent Chinese.
    But Americans made up most members of multicultural families, followed by Canadians and Taiwanese, and 33 percent lived in Gyeonggi Province and 19 percent in Seoul.
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