Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A look at statistics related to foreigners in Korea

Yesterday the Marmot's Hole reported that the number of foreigners in Korea has surpassed 1.5 million:
According to the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration Department, there were 1,501,761 foreigners residing in Korea as of Sunday.

Considering that there were only 678,687 foreigners in Korea in 2003, this would mean the foreign population has doubled in a decade.[...]

As of April, Chinese—including ethnic Koreans from China—accounted for 49.9% of Korea’s foreign population. They were followed by Americans (9.3%); Vietnamese (8.1%); Japanese, Filipinos and Thais (3% each); Uzbeks (2.5%); Indonesians (2.3%) and Mongolians (1.8%).
In the comments to that post, some wondered just how many of these foreigners are ethnic Koreans. The answer to that question can be found in the most recent immigration report (from April), which can be found here.

Out of 1,486,367 foreigners in Korea in April, 461,023 were Korean Chinese. If we subtract them from the largest dongpo (overseas Korean) visa categories, we're left with 3,600 on the F-4-1 visa, 61,000 on the F-4-2 visa, 7,700 on the F-4-11 visa, and 8,000 on the F-5-7 visa, or about 80,000 in total. Add that to the number of Korean Chinese and that makes for about 540,000 ethnic Koreans (though there are probably more on other visas), or more than one third of the total.

Of the 80,000 ethnic Koreans who aren't Chinese, around 43,000 are Korean American (one third of the total 138,924 Americans; those connected to the US military make for another third), 13,000 are Korean Canadian (making for more than half of the 24,003 Canadians here) and 4,594 are Korean Russians.

Glancing over at the E-2 stats, there are currently 20,965 E-2 visa holders here, which shows that numbers are continuing to decrease. It's quite a drop from the all-time high of 24,107 here in February 2011 (when incoming and outgoing public school teachers overlapped).

Oh, and just because we crossed the 1.5 threshold on Sunday doesn't mean that it will stay above that point. That figure includes tourists, and fluctuates depending on the time of year.

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