South Korea People, Population, Religion and Nationality


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South Korea People

Browse the information below for demographic information on South Korea, including population, religion, nationality and more. If you do not find the South Korea information you need on the people page, check out our complete listing on the South Korea Country Page.

  • South Korea Geography
  • South Korea Government
  • South Korea Economy
  • South Korea History

    Nationality: Noun and adjective--Korean(s).
    Population (2000): 47.5 million.
    Annual growth rate (2000): 0.93%.
    Ethnic groups: Korean; small Chinese minority.
    Religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Shamanism, Confucianism, Chondogyo.
    Language: Korean.
    Education: Years compulsory--9. Enrollment--11.5 million. Attendance--middle school 99%, high school 95%. Literacy--98%.
    Health (2000 est.): Infant mortality rate--7.85/1,000. Life expectancy--men 70.75 yrs.; women 78.5 yrs.
    Work force (1998 est.): 22.0 million. Services--68%; mining and manufacturing--20%; agriculture--12%.

    People of South Korea
    Korea's population is one of the most ethnically and linguistically homogenous in the world. Except for a small Chinese community (about 20,000) virtually all Koreans share a common cultural and linguistic heritage. With an 47 million people, South Korea has one of the world's highest population densities. Major population centers are located in the northwest and in the plains south of Seoul-Incheon.

    Korea experiences one of the largest rates of emigration with ethnic Koreans residing primarily in China (1.9 million), the United States (1.52 million), Japan (681,000), and the countries of the former Soviet Union (450,000).

    The word order of the Korean and Japanese languages are similar. Korean does not use tones. The writing system was invented in the 15th century by King Sejong to replace the system of borrowed Chinese characters, although they are still in limited use. English is taught as a second language in most primary and intermediate schools.

    Christianity (49%) and Buddhism (47%) comprise Korea's two dominant religions. Though only 3% identified themselves as Confucianists, Korean society remains highly imbued with Confucian values and beliefs. The remaining 1% of the population practice Shamanism (traditional spirit worship) and Chongdogyo, ("Heavenly Way") a traditional religion.


  • South Korea Geography
  • South Korea Government
  • South Korea Economy
  • South Korea History