Location & Population

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Geographic position - Between 33˚ and 43˚ north latitude, and 124˚ and 131˚ east longitude (including North Korea)

The Korean Peninsula is located in North-east Asia. It is bordered by the Amnok River (Yalu River) to the northwest, separating Korea from China, and the Duman River (Tumen River) to the northeast which separates Korea from both China and Russia. The country itself is flanked by the Yellow Sea to its west and the East Sea to the east. There are several notable islands that surround the peninsula including Jejudo, Ulleungdo and Dokdo.

The Korean peninsula is roughly 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Korea's total land area is 100,033 sq km, and it has population of 51,845,612 million people (as of July 2019).

Because of its unique geographical location, Korea is a very valuable piece of land and an international hub of Asia.


Archaeologists think that people started settling in the Korean Peninsula around B.C. 700,000, during the Paleolithic Age. South Korea’s 2017 population was estimated at 51.42 million, and according to the 2017 Population and Housing Census, 49.6% of the population resided in the Seoul metropolitan area. This was up by 0.5% from 49.1% in 2010, showing a distinct trend towards concentration of population in the capital.

Meanwhile, the country’s low birth rate has emerged as a serious social problem. The total fertility rate, which represents the average number of children that a woman can have throughout her lifetime, stood at 1.17 in 2016. The figure fell after rebounding from a record low of 1.08 in 2005, thanks to the government’s measures to encourage childbirth. The number of newborns in 2016 was also the lowest at 406,300. Meanwhile the life expectancy of South Koreans reached to 82.1 years (as of 2016), higher than the OECD average.

The international migration of South Koreans began at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century with people leaving for China and Russia. Around the mid-20th century after the 1945 Liberation of Korea, the United States was their main destination, though Koreans also started to emigrate to diverse regions around the world including Europe, the Middle East, and South America.

As a result, the number of overseas Koreans amounted to 7.4 million (2016) spread across 194 countries. Statistics showed that the largest number of expatriate Koreans were in China (2.55 million), followed by the United States (2.49 million), Japan (820,000), and Canada (240,000).

Since 2011, the net inflow of population has outnumbered the net outflow. The number of foreign nationals residing or working in the country has increased dramatically, particularly since 2000. According to Statistics Korea, 407,000 foreign nationals arrived in the country in 2016, the net outflow totaled 75,000, which was up by 14,000 YoY, while 714,000 foreign nationals arrived in the country. Regarding the purpose of their arrival in the country, employment (31.8%) topped the list, followed by short-term stay (30.4%), study (13.1%), and arrivals of overseas Koreans (12.8%). In particular, the number of foreign nationals who enter South Korea for study or training jumped by 30.1% YoY, the largest figure since 2000 (as of 2016).

sourceKorea.netImagine your Korea