North Korea Population 2024 (Live)

26,246,536

According to current projections, North Korea’s population will reach its peak in 2037 with a population of 26.87 million people – just over 1 million more people than it has now.

North Korea’s population growth rate has slowed to 0.44% per year. Between 1960 and 1995, the population growth rate was much higher varying between 1.43% and 2.81%. Unsurprisingly, North Korea’s fertility rate has also declined significantly, dropping from 5.12 births per woman in 1960 to 1.91 births per woman in 2020.

North Korea’s lack of population growth will lead to an aging population that will negatively impact its workforce and military power. Unlike other countries will declining populations, like its neighbor to the south, North Korea will not be able to try and bring in immigrants to fix its declining population in the future.

Population Rank
Growth Rate
2024 World Percentage
Land Area
120,410
The current population of North Korea is 26,246,536 based on projections of the latest United Nations data. The UN estimates the July 1, 2024 population at 26,244,582.

North Korea Growth Rate

North Korea Population Clock

North Korea Population (as of 7/9/2024)26,246,536
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2024)26,244,582
Births per Day914
Deaths per Day692
Migrations per Day-5
Net Change per Day217
Population Change Since Jan. 141,447

Components of Population Change

One birth every 1.58 minutes
One death every 2.08 minutes
One emigrant every 288 minutes
Net gain of one person every 6.63 minutes

North Korea Population Clock

North Korea Population Density Map

City
2024 Population
Pyongyang3,222,000
Hamhung559,056
Namp'o455,000
Sunch'on437,000
Hungnam346,082
Kaesong338,155
Wonsan329,207
Chongjin327,000
Sariwon310,100
Sinuiju288,112

North Korea Area and Population Density

North Korea has a surface area of 120,540 square kilometers. This equates to 46,258 square miles and makes it the 98th largest country on earth in terms of landmass alone. For every square kilometer of land, there is an average of 208 people – that figure converts to 541 people per square mile. In total, North Korea is the 63rd most densely populated country in the world.

Most North Koreans live in in the south and west of the country, which is largely made up of lowlands. The north of the country, near the border with China, is more mountainous and far less densely populated.

Largest Cities in North Korea

The largest city in North Korea is Pyongyang, the country's capital city. At the time of the 2008 census it had 3,255,288 residents, making it the only city in North Korea with a population of more than one million people.

Pyongyang is the third largest city in North and South Korea combined, far below the population of Seoul (over 9 million) and slightly smaller than Busan (3.6 million). It is the 61st largest city in the world and the 34th largest city in Asia.

North Korea's second city is Hamhung (768,551 people) and its third city is Chongjin (627,000 people).

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Year
Population
Growth Rate
Density (/km²)
Population Rank
Density Rank
202426,244,5820.38%2185667
202326,160,8210.4%2175668
202025,867,4670.43%2155467
201925,755,4410.46%2145467
201825,638,1490.48%2135266
201725,516,3210.5%2125266
201525,258,0150.46%2105162
201024,686,4350.48%2054957
200524,100,9820.62%2004756
200023,367,0590.86%1944456
199522,385,5361.48%1864156
199020,799,5231.48%1734056
198519,325,4871.46%1604159
198017,973,6501.45%1493856
197516,723,2522.2%1393557
197014,996,8792.73%1253559
196513,105,9462.37%1093562
196011,655,6662.38%973559
195510,360,269-1.38%863562

North Korea Population by Year (Historical)

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Year
Population
Growth Rate
Density (/km²)
Population Rank
Density Rank
202426,244,5820.38%2185667
202526,319,9240.35%2195668
203026,569,4010.19%2215969
203526,598,0480.02%2216170
204026,441,399-0.12%2206472
204526,165,201-0.21%2176474
205025,807,197-0.27%2146577
205525,365,629-0.34%2117077
206024,854,656-0.41%2067177
206524,305,828-0.45%2027180
207023,751,608-0.46%1977181
207523,205,032-0.46%1937185
208022,656,034-0.48%1887487
208522,107,246-0.49%1847487
209021,561,196-0.5%1797485
209521,015,250-0.51%1757487

North Korea Population by Year (Projections)

North Korea Population Pyramid 2024

North Korea Median Age

34.6

Total

33.2

Male

36.2

Female

North Korea Population by Age

There are people over age 18 in North Korea.

Census Years

Year
Date
20182018
200815 October 2008
199331 December 1993

North Korea Population Pyramid

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 homogeneous 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

among 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.

North Korea Population Rank 2024
Area (km²)
120,538
2024 Growth Rate
Capital
GDP (UN '22)
$15.18 Bn
  1. Central Intelligence Agency
  2. World Population Prospects (2022 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.
  3. GeoNames

Sources