South Korea Population 2024 (Live)

51,743,382

According to current projections, South Korea is expected to hit its peak population of 51.35 million people by 2024. South Korea’s population growth rate has slowed significantly, decreasing from 0.1% to 0.09% from 2019 to 2020.

South Korea has the lowest fertility rate in the world of 0.92, meaning that, on average, women are having less than one child. Women in South Korea are reluctant to have children because of high education costs and home prices and difficulty returning to work after giving birth.

South Korea’s extremely low fertility rate will result in a rapidly increasing aging population. Almost half of South Korea is expected to be over the age of 65 by 2065. Such a senior population would threaten South Korea’s workforce, economy, and military capabilities.

Population Rank
Growth Rate
2024 World Percentage
Land Area
97,600
The current population of South Korea is 51,743,382 based on projections of the latest United Nations data. The UN estimates the July 1, 2024 population at 51,741,963.

South Korea Growth Rate

South Korea Population Clock

South Korea Population (as of 6/19/2024)51,743,382
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2024)51,741,963
Births per Day796
Deaths per Day1,007
Migrations per Day82
Net Change per Day-129
Population Change Since Jan. 1-22,059

Components of Population Change

One birth every 1.82 minutes
One death every 1.43 minutes
One immigrant every 17.57 minutes
Net loss of one person every 11.17 minutes

South Korea Population Clock

South Korea Population Density Map

City
2024 Population
Seoul10,349,312
Busan3,678,555
Incheon2,628,000
Daegu2,566,540
Daejeon1,475,221
Gwangju1,416,938
Suwon1,242,724
Goyang-si1,073,069
Seongnam-si1,031,935
Ulsan962,865

South Korea Area and Population Density

The land area covers 99,392 square kilometers (or 38,375.46 square miles) and this small area (in combination with staggering population numbers) contributes to the fact that South Korea is known as for its population density, which is more than 10 times the global average. Due to rapid migration as a result of the quick economic expansion from the 1970s, South Korea is now Asia's fifth largest economy and one of the world’s 15 largest economies.

South Korea is one of the planet’s most densely populated countries with a density of 503 people per square kilometer, or 1,302 people per square mile. Nearly 70% of South Korea's land area is mostly uninhabitable due to it being mountainous and the population is established in lowland areas, contributing to a density that is higher than average. In 1975, an estimate was made that South Korea's population density in its cities, each containing at least 50,000 people, was nearly 4,000 on average. As a result of the continued following of the practice to migrate to urban areas, the figure was much higher in the 1980s.

Seoul's population density was estimated around 17,000 average persons in 1988, an increase of over 3000 when compared with 1980's population density of nearly 14,000 people every square kilometer. The current density of Seoul is almost twice that of New York City. The density of Busan, the second largest city in the country, was just over 8,500 persons for every square kilometer in 1988, while this figure stood at a little over 7,000 people back in 1980.

The government's Economic Planning Board believes the population density will be 530 people for every square kilometer. The population is expected to stabilize by 2023, according to the census. The largest cities, according to statistics taken in 1895, were Busan (3.5 million inhabitants), Seoul (9.6 million), Daegu (2.03 million), Gwangju (0.9 million), Incheon (1.4 million) and Daejeon (0.86 million). Statistics taken by the government show that Seoul’s population passed the 10 million mark near the end of 1988. Meanwhile, the average growth rate of its annual population in the 1980s was greater than 3%. Most of the growth was as a result of migration with natural increase playing a smaller role in this change. Surveys taken show that seeking a new job or a job transfer were the major reasons that new immigrants gave for moving. Many immigrants also cited education and convenience as factors in moving to the capital.

Largest Cities in South Korea

The population of Seoul made up 23.8% of South Korea’s population in 1985. However, there has been greater growth in the provincial cities as compared to the capital, especially in the southeastern coastal area, which includes Pohang, Pusan, Ulsan, Chinhae, Yeosu, and Masan. Figures from the census show that the population of Ulsan increased eighteen times, with an increase of 521,300 inhabitants from 1960 to 1985. In contrast, Kwangju’s population did not even increase three times from 1960 to 1985.

Rapid urban growth has resulted in various problems for South Korea. High-rise apartments were constructed in order to help alleviate housing shortages. But it also caused severe hardship on the thousands of people who were forced to relocate from their old neighborhoods since they were unable to afford the rents in the new buildings. In the late 1980s, squatter areas which contained one-story shacks still existed in different parts of Seoul. Housing for most of the population, bar the wealthiest, was generally cramped. The concentration of factories in urban areas and the use of coal for heating during the severe winter months resulted in dangerous levels of air and water pollution, issues that still remain today.

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Year
Population
Growth Rate
Density (/km²)
Population Rank
Density Rank
202451,741,963-0.02%5322922
202351,784,0590.04%5332922
202051,844,6900.08%5332822
201951,803,8290.25%5332722
201851,676,9000.32%5312722
201751,511,6390.39%5302722
201550,994,4010.88%5242722
201048,813,0420.38%5022621
200547,889,5730.47%4932520
200046,788,5910.61%4812619
199545,393,4180.57%4672417
199044,120,0391.36%4542417
198541,232,7091.55%4242316
198038,170,5011.22%3932315
197535,930,6941.96%3702215
197032,601,1432.24%3352315
196529,179,4072.48%3002417
196025,817,5293.18%2662420
195522,075,0081.89%2272422

South Korea Population by Year (Historical)

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Year
Population
Growth Rate
Density (/km²)
Population Rank
Density Rank
202451,741,963-0.02%5322922
202551,690,479-0.06%5322923
203051,290,214-0.15%5283225
203550,532,567-0.3%5203527
204049,319,974-0.48%5073829
204547,738,573-0.65%4914030
205045,770,874-0.84%4714632
205543,417,493-1.05%4474937
206040,877,006-1.2%4205740
206538,354,346-1.27%3945941
207035,914,652-1.31%3696043
207533,594,161-1.33%3466244
208031,408,278-1.34%3236547
208529,347,263-1.35%3026751
209027,402,411-1.36%2826754
209525,631,307-1.33%2646958

South Korea Population by Year (Projections)

South Korea Population Pyramid 2024

South Korea Median Age

43.2

Total

41.6

Male

45

Female

South Korea Population by Age

There are people over age 18 in South Korea.

Census Years

Year
Date
20201 November 2020
201515 November 2015
201020 November 2010
20054 November 2005
20001 November 2000
19951 November 1995
19901 November 1990
19851 November 1985

South Korea Population Pyramid

South Korea is officially known as The Republic of Korea and is located in the southern part of the Korea peninsula, which neighbors China to the west, Japan to the east, and North Korea to the north. The largest city and capital is Seoul, which has a population of just under 10 million. Under its current constitution, the state is also referred to as The Sixth Republic of South Korea. The country had its first election at 1948 and operates under a powerful presidential system.

South Korea Demographics

Korean and English are the only two languages noted as used in South Korea, and in addition, the ethnicity is listed as homogeneous - meaning the population is over 99% Korean in ethnic background. The median age in South Korea is approximately 41.8 years of age. Life expectancy is approximately 82.5 years of age. Physician density is at approximately 2.3 per 1,000 individuals residing in the country, and hospital beds are at 11.5 available per 1,000 residents.

Korea Religion, Economy and Politics

Korea isn't a particularly religious nation, with only 44% of the population stating they having a faith. However, they differentiate themselves from many other nations because of how well people of all belief systems coexist peacefully.

The average life expectancy from 2013 WHO data is 81.6 years, which is 16th in the world. Although there has been a significant increase in life expectancy since 1950, South Korea still faces numerous problems in relation to healthcare. One of the major issues it faces is [the impact of the environmental pollution](http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/03/23/Pollution-in-South-Korea-poses-increasing-health-threats/5191427123633/) on increasing urbanization which has an adverse effect upon life expectancy. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, chronic disease accounts for the majority of diseases in South Korea and is responsible for 81% of deaths. Approximately 19.9% of all adults in the country smoke, leading to health problems and death. South Korea also has the 2nd highest suicide rate in the world, although government efforts have led to recent declines. South Korea had the best rate of influenza vaccination in Asia with 311 people vaccinated per 1000. In 2013, the government's expenditure on healthcare was 7.17% of the country's GDP.

South Korea Population History

Since 2009, South Korea has improved its record for having the world's lowest birthrate. However, the birthrate still remains low and if this continues, the population is expected to decrease by 13% to 42.3 million in 2050 and extinction by 2750 is a possibility. The country's birthrate is currently 1.19 children per mother, one of the lowest in the world that is only larger than birthrates in Taiwan, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong.

South Korea Population Rank 2024
Area (km²)
100,210
2024 Growth Rate
Capital
GDP (IMF '23)
$1,760.95
GDP (UN '22)
$1.67 Tn

Sources