Vietnamese Expats Population in South Korea Hits New Height
As the largest expat group in South Korea, the Vietnamese citizens population is 201,000 people, while the Chinese population is 135,000 people, placed second. In terms of annual growth, the number of Vietnamese people coming to Korea has increased at a rapid pace up to 32,000 people, far exceeding Chinese citizens with an increase of 5,000 people.
By the end of 2023, data released by Statistics Korea (South Korea) also shows a record-high number of 923,000 foreigners working in Korea, with more than half in their 30s or younger. Statistics Korea's prediction that by 2072 in Korea, 1 in 3 people between the working ages of 15 and 64 will be foreign citizens, if the crisis continues.
A senior official from Statistics Korea shared that the increase compared to the same period in 2022 is due to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to a wave of unskilled workers from abroad and international students.
In a recent publication, Korea Times noted that the total number of foreign citizens living in Korea increased by 9.9% from 2022 (data compiled in May 2023), and was the highest level since 2012 when the government in South Korea began compiling data.
Also, 923,000 foreigners coming to work in Korea in 2023 marks an increase compared to the same period in 2022 of 80,000, equivalent to an increase of 9.5%. The mining and manufacturing sectors are the industries that employ the most foreign workers in Korea.
The number of foreign students coming to Korea also increased by 14.1% in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022 to 188,000. Students from Vietnam account for 38.3%, followed by China with 27.7%, and Uzbekistan with 6.4%.
One-third of parents in multicultural families in South Korea are Vietnamese
Data compiled by the Ministry of Education and the Korea Educational Development Institute recently revealed that the number of students from multicultural families across Korea increased by 7.4% in 2023 to 181,178 students.
This number has increased steadily since data on students from multicultural backgrounds was first collected in 2012. In the report, globalization and changing demographics are considered the main reasons leading to an increase in the number of students from multicultural backgrounds. This increases cultural diversity in the education systems in South Korea.
Regarding origin, in multicultural families in South Korea, 32.1% of parents are Vietnamese, 24.6% of parents are Chinese, 9.1% are Filipino and 4.2% are Japanese. Of the total number of multicultural students, there are 115,639 elementary school students, 43,698 middle school students, and 21,190 high school students.
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