The number of non-Koreans living in Korea now exceeds 1.74 million people.
By traditional Korean standards, this number is quite high, around 3.39 percent of a total population that stands at about 51.30 million.
The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs announced on July 5 that according to their report on non-Korean residents, the total number is 1,741,919 people, as of January 1 this year. This number is higher than the population of at least three cities or provinces: Chuncheongbuk-do (North Chungcheong Province), Daejeon and Gwangju. Those regions each have a population of 1.58 million, 1.53 million and 1.48 million respectively.
Research into the number of non-Korean residents began in 2006 when it sat at around 540,000. It has since soared from that small base by as much as three times over ten years, by on average around 14.4 percent each year.
Among non-Koreans living here, some 79 percent of them, about 1.38 million people, do not have Korean citizenship. Only 9.1 percent of them, around 160,000 people, are adults with Korean citizenship, while the remaining 11.9 percent, 210,000 people, are children of residents. Also, among the population of non-Koreans with no Korean citizenship, some 610,000 people are here for their job, some 150,000 people emigrated here because of their partner and some 80,000 people are students.
By nationality, people from mainland China take up the largest proportion, at 950,000, 54.59 percent of the non-Koreans living in Korea. It is followed by Vietnam, at 200,000 (11.49 percent), the U.S. at 70,000 (4.02 percent), the Philippines at 70,000 (4.02 percent), Cambodia at 50,000 (2.87 percent) and Indonesia at 40,000 (2.29 percent).
Non-Korean residents mostly live in Gyeonggi-do (Gyeonggi Province), where about 550,000 of them live, Seoul (460,000) and Gyeongsangnam-do (South Gyeongsang Province) (110,000).
By Lee Seung-ah
Photo: Jeon Han
Korea.net Staff Writer