Seoul’s population stands at 10.46 million, rising for the sixth consecutive year since 2004.
Seoul’s population rose for the sixth consecutive year since 2004. According to statistics compiled as of Dec. 31 last year, the city’s population stood at 10,464,051 people, up 0.08 percent or 8,017 people from 2008. While the population rose from a year ago, the growth rate slowed because of a low birth rate and fewer foreigners registering as citizens in Seoul.
The number of newborn babies fell to 91,029 in 2009, compared with 100,337 in 2003 and 126,742 in 1999. It indicates that the number of newborn babies shrank by about 35,000 in a decade. In contrast, the statistics showed that the aging of Seoul accelerated. Over the past decade, the number of people aged 65 and more jumped 77.85 percent to 942,946 people in 2009, compared with 530,190 people in 1999. The ratio of people aged 65 and older to total population rose to 9.01 percent in 2009 from 5.14 percent in 1999. As a result, the average age of people in Seoul rose to 37.6 in 2009, compared with 32.7 in 1999.
A sharp rise in single households
The number of Korean households in Seoul rose 17.94 percent from a decade ago to 4,116,660 homes. But, the average number of people per household fell to 2.48 in 2009, compared with 2.94 in 1999. In particular, the number of single households jumped 66.05 percent from a decade ago to 1,441,632 in 2009, from 868,217 in 1999.
After showing a rapid growth in the 2000s, the pace of growth in the number of foreigners living in Seoul slowed last year. By countries, the number of Vietnamese people rose 10.96 percent last year from a year ago, followed by Chinese (10.95 percent), Uzbekistanis (7.61 percent) and Russians (7.14 percent). However, the number of Pakistanis fell 11.62 percent, followed by Indians (6.69 percent) and people from the Philippines (3.95 percent).
Seoul City’s measures against aging society
Seoul is one of the world’s fastest aging cities. According to data by Statistics Korea as of Oct. 1, 2008, the number of people aged 65 and older was expected to surpass 1 million in 2012. Seoul is likely to become an aging society with the number of people aged 65 and older accounting for 14.1 percent of the population. In 2027, Seoul is expected to become an ultra-aging society with the number accounting for 20.3 percent of the population.
To handle an upcoming era of 1 million people aged 65 and older, Seoul City is preparing for a new infrastructure concept to improve welfare for senior citizens. Under the plan, the city plans to build a welfare center in downtown Seoul, which was tentatively named the ‘9988 Welfare Center’ and will play a central role in implementing policies for senior citizens. Also, Seoul plans to build four major welfare facilities, which will house a swimming pool, a fitness center and a performance venue, for senior citizens.
The planned facilities are designed to meet various demands from senior citizens, offering a one-stop service for them to receive medical treatment, healthcare service and engage in various social activities.