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Korea’s Population Tops 48 Million

Posted December. 28, 2005 03:19,   


South Korea’s total population as of November 1 reached 47.254 million people, an increase of 1.118 million (2.4 percent) over a period of five years, according to a recent provisional tally.

In a provisional “Population and Housing Census” issued by the Korea National Statistical Office yesterday, South Korea’s current population as of November 1 (which totaled 47.254 million) is a 2.4 percent increase from 46.136 million in 2000.

The Statistical Office predicts that approximately two percent has been excluded from the census, projecting the actual population to be around the 48.2-48.3 million mark.

The number of men has increased by two percent in five years, amounting to 23.62 million. During the same period, women have increased by 2.9 percent to reach 23.634 million, outnumbering men for the first time since 1970. Women outnumbered men by 450,000 in 1970, with the tallies for men and women reaching 15.217 million and 15.666 million, respectively, but the number of men had been larger from then until now.

The number of nuclear families and unmarried singles has increased, causing the average number of members per family to fall from 3.1 to 2.9 during a period of five years. This marks the first time that the number has gone below three since the very first population census in 1925.

The number of families nationwide has increased to 15.9 million, marking an 11.1 percent increase since 2000. The number of residences has increased by 14.9 percent to 12.592 million, surpassing the rate of increase of families and reflecting a more favorable situation in the housing market.

The percentage of apartments of all residents has increased from 47.7 percent in 2000 to 52.5 percent this year, surpassing the half mark for the first time.

The population density has increased by 10 persons compared to five years ago, with 474 persons per square kilometer.

The population of Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi totaled 22.742 million, a toll that shows that 48.1 percent of the total population is living in the metropolitan area.

The metropolitan population has increased by 6.5 percent over the last five years, with its relative percentage compared to the total population also increasing from 2000 (46.3 percent), reflecting further centralization to the metropolitan area.

The Korea National Statistical Office will announce its finalized “Population and Housing Census” in divided fields next May.

Joong-Hyun Park sanjuck@donga.com