Demographics of South Korea

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.

Demographic Statistics

Population: 49,044,790 (July 2008 est.)

Age Structure

0-14 years: 18.3% (male 4,714,103/female 4,262,873)
15-64 years: 72.1% (male 18,004,719/female 17,346,594)
65 years and over: 9.6% (male 1,921,803/female 2,794,698) (2008 est.)

Median Age

Total: 35.8 years
Male: 34.8 years
Female: 36.8 years (2008 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 0.394% (2008 est.)

Birth Rate: 9.93 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Death Rate: 5.99 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Net Migration Rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 populations (2008 est.)

Sex Ratio

At birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.106 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.038 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.688 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

Total: 6.05 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 5.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Life expectancy at Birth

Total population: 77.23 years
Male: 73.81 years
Female: 80.93 years (2008 est.)

Total Fertility Rate: 1.28 children born/woman (2008 est.)


Noun: Korean(s)
Adjective: Korean

Ethnic Groups: homogeneous (except for around 20,000 Chinese)

Religions Affiliation: Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, no affiliation 46%, other 1%

Languages Spoken: Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school

Literacy: definition

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 97.9%
Male: 99.2%
Female: 96.6% (2002)


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