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Korea Main Page

 

The People of Korea

 
korea_street_market.jpg (19358 bytes)The modern Korean people are believed to be the descendants of several Mongol tribes which migrated onto the Korean peninsula from Central Asia particularly during the Neolithic Age (c. 5000-1000 BC) and the Bronze Age (c. 1000-300 BC).  By the beginning of the Christian era, the Koreans were a homogenous people, although the country was not politically unified until the seventh century AD.
 The population of the Republic of Korea topped 45.9 million in 1997.  Its population density is among the world's highest, and Seoul, the capital city, has more than 11 million inhabitants.  Other metropolitan cities include Pusan, Taegu, Inch'on, Kwangju, Taejon, and Ulsan.  

In recent years, urbanization has been increasing, although the government is taking steps to minimize this trend.  The traditional extended family system is giving way to the nuclear family.  Religious freedom is provided for in the Korean Constitution, and Koreans have taken to religion with a fervor.  Some 51 percent of the public holds religious beliefs, and that figure continues to grow.  The major religions include Buddhism, Protestantism and Catholicism.

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Information provided by the Korean Embassy

 

 

 
Population:
48,636,068 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.8% (male 4,278,581/female 3,887,516)
15-64 years: 72.3% (male 17,897,053/female 17,196,840)
65 years and over: 10.8% (male 2,104,589/female 3,144,393) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.9 years
male: 36.5 years
female: 39.1 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.258% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
Birth rate:
8.72 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
Death rate:
6.15 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Urbanization:
urban population: 81% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.24 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 199
male: 4.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.81 years
country comparison to the world: 42
male: 75.56 years
female: 82.28 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.22 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
13,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
Nationality:
noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups:
homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
Religions:
Christian 26.3% (Protestant 19.7%, Roman Catholic 6.6%), Buddhist 23.2%, other or unknown 1.3%, none 49.3% (1995 census)
Languages:
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)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 17 years
male: 18 years
female: 16 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 100
 

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