The people of Korea are descendants of the Mongol tribes; nevertheless they are a homogeneous community having their own culture, language and customs. Since the establishment of the Republic of South Korea in 1948, the population has grown rapidly. According to the demographics of South Korea, the total population of the country has been estimated to be 49,044,790 in the year 2008. In the past centuries several Asians had migrated to the Korean Peninsula but very few have settled permanently. Hence both South and North Korea are among the most ethnically homogenous nations in the world. However, against the backdrop of ethnic homogeneity there are significant regional differences existing in South Korea. One of the major regional differences in South Korea is between Gyeongsang region and Jeolla region. Another striking feature of the demographics of South Korea is the high rate of literacy.
The main language spoken in South Korea is Korean, while English is extensively taught in schools and is used for most educational purposes. Some of the foreign languages taught in Middle school and High Schools are Japanese, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Russian, German and Arabic.