Trustworthy data about North Korean demographics is hard to come by. The most recent data comes from a census conducted by the North Korean Government in 2008. The results, released in 2011, claimed that the population of North Korea stood at exactly 25 million.
Although the number is clearly rounded, it is roughly borne out by other estimates - for example, the United Nations Department of Education and Social Affairs estimate from 2010 of 24,346,229 and the CIA Factbook’s estimate that the population of North Korea in 2012 was 24,589,122.
North Korean Demographics
There is very little ethnic diversity within North Korea and this is arguably the most homogenous country on earth. There are a few small clusters of Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, Vietnamese and European communities here but the political atmosphere in the country isn’t one that lends itself to mass immigration.
North Korea Religion, Economy and Politics
Amongst many other areas, it is difficult to find official information about religions practiced in North Korea. The country is officially an atheist nation, but it has also been reported that roughly 16% of the country practice Korean Shamanism, 14% practice Chondoism, 4.5% are Buddhist, and 1.5% are Christian.
The North Korean economy is a centrally planned system, meaning that production, investment, and allocation of goods all follow an economy-wide plan, and the market allocation schemes are limited. The economy has been modernized somewhat in recent years, but not by much. The main economic sectors in North Korea are manufacturing, energy, construction, banking, and agriculture.
The North Korean political system is based on the philosophy of Juche created by Kin II-sung, which states that the combination of self-reliance and a strong independent nation can create true socialism. The constitution guarantees its citizens basic human rights, but whether or not this is actively practiced is questionable.
North Korea Population History
Estimates vary wildly as to how many citizens were lost as a result of the North Korean famine of the 1990’s. It is claimed that up to 3.5 million people may have died while others suggest that the final death toll may have been nearer 800,000.
The famine itself arose out of the collapse of the Soviet Union when North Korea’s economy started to suffer severe problems. Widespread storms and flooding across the country also provided a strong catalyst but whatever the final death toll may have been, it is clear that the famine had a marked effect on the population of North Korea.