City Initiative News

  • How Many Foreigners are Living in Seoul Now?

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    ◈ Total of 270,000 foreigners registered in Seoul as of 2015, increasing 5.4 times within the past 15 years

    The number of foreigners living in Seoul who have registered with the Ministry of Justice stands at 268,000, as of 2015 (Q1), which is 5.4 times more than the 50,000 foreigners at the end of 2000. As of 2014, the total number of foreigners, including naturalized Korean citizens, is 415,000, according to the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs.

    Chinese and ethnic Koreans from China account for 72.3 percent of all foreigners, followed by Americans at 3.5 percent, Taiwanese at 3.3 percent, and Japanese at 3.1 percent.




    ◈ Proportion of Chinese steadily increasing, while Korean Chinese and foreigners from OECD countries are decreasing

    The proportion of Korean Chinese (such as ethnic Koreans) has decreased by 6.5 percentage points, dropping from 60.1 percent in 2006 to 53.6 percent in 2015. On the other hand, the proportion of Chinese (including Han Chinese) has increased by 10.6 percentage points, rising from 8.1 percent in 2006 to 18.7 percent in 2015.

    The number of foreign nationals from OECD countries (22 out of 34 countries) was recorded at 29,000, accounting for 10.7 percent of all foreigners and showing a drop of 9.0 percentage points from 19.7 percent in 2004.



    ◈ The proportion of Chinese nationals (including ethnic Koreans) is highest in Yeongdeungpo-gu, while most Japanese and Americans are situated in Yongsan-gu and Taiwanese in Seodaemun-gu.

    As for the number of foreign residents by district, the proportion of Chinese (including ethnic Koreans) is the highest in Yeongdeungpo-gu, while most Americans and Japanese are in Yongsan-gu, and Taiwanese in Seodaemun-gu.

    By neighborhood, most Korean Chinese reside in Daerim 2-dong and Guro 2-dong; Chinese in Hwayang-dong and Hyehwa-dong; Americans in Hangangno-dong and Yongsan 2ga-dong; Taiwanese in Yeonhui-dong and Yeonnam-dong; and Japanese in Ichon 1-dong and Hangangno-dong.


    ▶ View Seoul Statistics Page:

View Comments (5)


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  • Nicklas Nilsson 09/07/2016 (3:33 오후)

    I read that the total OECD population is 29000. Are there any numbers for how many of the rest that are fluent in English and consider themselves foreigners?
    In Shanghai the expat website has around ~300 000 monthly visitors mostly foreigners. Would this work in Korea?

    • Seoul Metropolitan Government 10/05/2016 (6:15 오후)

      According to this article, foreign residents from non-OECD countries account for 17.1% of the entire foreigner population and the number is approximately 46,345.

    • Seoul Metropolitan Government 10/05/2016 (6:15 오후)

      Although we don’t have any statistics about the English fluency of these people, it is quite fair to believe that English is their first or second language.

    • Seoul Metropolitan Government 10/05/2016 (6:15 오후)

      With regards to the expat website on Seoul, there are several communities including and Please visit the websites to make inquiries on the number of monthly visitors.

    • Seoul Metropolitan Government 10/05/2016 (6:16 오후)

      Thank you so much for your interest in our city