Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Statistics on Korea's foreign residents

This Korea Times article from earlier this month tells us that "870,636 registered overseas nationals live in Korea and 255,000 of them live in Seoul."
By district, Yeongdeungpo District had the highest number of foreigners with 35,949 and by dong, Garibong-dong in Guro had the largest number at 7,638. [...] Following Yeongdeungpo, Guro-gu, Geumcheon-gu and Gwanak-gu had large numbers of expatriate residents. These areas have concentrated industrial complexes, and many migrant workers live near their workplace.

Yongsan District, known as a "foreigners' district" marked sixth with 12,492 expatriates. The foreign resident population of Seoul has grown 4.5 times in 10 years, compared to the 57,189 in 1999.
Interesting that the article doesn't mention that much of Gur
o-gu's Garibong-dong - the neighbourhood with the most foreigners, if we remember - is going to be razed and redeveloped (here as well).

At any rate, if at the beginning of this month there were
870,636 foreigners registered in Korea, we can compare it to these statistics (scroll down and wait until the download button appears at bottom left) from the end of 2008 which show that there were then 854,007 foreigners registered in Korea - and increase of 26,629 people in 14 months.

The listing of 255,000 foreigners in Seoul earlier this month seems no different than the 255,207 listed at the end of 2008 (of which 195,618 were Chinese). Here is the breakdown by district (of the 2008 statistics):

Gangnam - 7,792
Gangdong - 4,949
Gangbuk - 3,480
Gangseo - 6,697
Gwanak - 17,317
Gwangjin - 11,772
Guro - 27,901
Geumcheon - 17,924
Nowon - 4,827
Dobong – 2,792
Dongdaemun – 11,413
Dongjak – 10,068
Mapo – 8,122
Seodaemun – 9,043
Seocho - 5,745
Seongdong - 8,467
Seongbuk - 8,062
Songpa – 7,618
Yangcheon – 5,556
Yeongdeungpo – 35,438
Yongsan – 12,819
Eunpyeong – 4,963
Jongno – 9,049
Jung – 8,449
Jungnang - 4,974

Here are the number of foreigners by province and city:

Gangwon-do – 12,892
Gyeonggi-do – 256,827
Gyeongsangnam-do – 51,707
Gyeongsangbuk-do – 35,731
Jeollanam-do – 19,690
Jeollabuk-do – 18,749
Jeju-do – 4,902
Chungcheongnam-do – 35,254
Chungcheongbuk-do – 22,700

Gwangju – 11,923
Daegu – 19,877
Daejeon – 14,056
Busan – 31,499
Ulsan – 14,472
Incheon – 48,521

(In Gyeonggi-do, Bucheon, where I lived years ago, has a foreign population of 14,659.)

If you're curious to know more, the statistics linked above are worth perusing.


Anonymous said...

I'm in a rush right now, so I can't look it up properly, but I'm sure there was a big deal made not long ago about how Korea was now in the 'era of 1million foreigners.' Am I making this up, or is there a rather large discrepancy between that recent claim and these statistics?

matt said...

You remember correctly - it was in 2007. The thing was, they counted foreign residents as well as tourists and short term visitors to get that 'one million' statistic (at the end of 2008 there were 1,158,866 foreigners of all visa types here). I'm quite certain foreigners considered to be illegal are included in the residential statistics.

Unknown said...

This is very interesting, but it seems the stats have been removed? Would you mind reposting them or letting me know where to get the information from please? Where did you get this info originally? I'm doing some research into foreigner populations in Seoul (and satellite cities) so any advice would be appreciated!

matt said...

I uploaded a zip file here (scroll down to bottom left, and wait 25 seconds for the download button to appear).

There are a number of files in the zip, but this one -
- has the number of foreigners in the country at the end of 2008 by nationality, gender, and visa status.

Other files have breakdowns by city/province, and nationality, but I can't remember which one - you'll have to click through them to find it. Hope that helps.