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By the numbers: A day in Seoul

Posted February. 14, 2001 19:22,   


A daily average of 71 couples get divorced in Seoul, while just over three times that many tie the knot.

The Seoul Statistical Yearbook, published by the Seoul municipal government Tuesday, puts the city`s population at 10,321,449 (5,170,662 male, 5,150,787 female); 347 babies are born every day and 103 die. The number of births marked a 21 percent drop from 460 ten years ago, while deaths rose 3 percent.

The daily average of 71 divorces is up 16 percent from 61 in 1998 and up nearly 300 percent from 26 ten years ago. The number of marriages, 233 in 1999, was almost unchanged from 227 in l989.

A tendency toward smaller families is evident in Seoul in the rapidly diminishing size of the average family, which now stands at 2.94; it was 3.76 in 1989 and 4.74 in 1979. The daily number of people moving to the capital city was 1,834, with 2,057 moving to other cities and provinces. A daily total of 8,462 people change their addresses.

Various means of public transportation carry 27.46 million people a day, of which 4.73 million use the subway; this represents a 70 percent increase in subway passengers from 2.76 million in 1989. The number of cars on the road declined 137 a day in 1998 in the wake of the currency crisis, but the economic recovery reversed the slide, adding 272 vehicles to metropolitan traffic jams every day. Out of every 100 Seoul households, 48 own cars.

Compared with ten years ago, grain consumption fell 23 percent to 34,521 bags (80 kg per bag) a day, but Seoulites have taken to eating more meat -- consumption of beef doubled to 1,797 head and pork sales jumped 21 percent to 9,816 a day.

Park Yun-Chul yc97@donga.com