World Population > South Korea

Seoul Population


Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. It is located on the Han River in the north-western part of the country. As per Aug 2020 Stats, Seoul population in 2021 is estimated to be 10.07 Million, most densely populated major cities, covers an area of only 605 It is estimated that 1 million foreigners live in and around Seoul city. The city covers 0.28% of the entire peninsula (or 0.61% of South Korea), and spans an area of 30.30km north-to-south and 34.78 km west-to-east. The Hangang River flows horizontally across Seoul, dividing the city into two sections lying north and south of the river. Seoul serves as the country's political, cultural, and economic center, as well as a center for international business. There are 25 autonomous "gu" districts in Seoul, divided into 424 administrative "dong" sub-units in Seoul. Each "gu" is a basic local government unit that takes care of it's assigned affairs and autonomous duties. The "gu" provides administrative services that are closely related to the lives of citizens. Seoul hosted the official tournament of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan. Gyeongbokgung Palace is the UNESCO site built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty in 1395, located in the heart of Seoul. The city has played a key economic role and has been referred to as the "Miracle on the Han River".

Seoul and the surrounding areas comprise half of the population and economy of South Korea. While considering Seoul metropolitan area, More than thirty years of constant city planning was made it possible several centers have been formed that have improved the structure of the city. Seoul created five large world class areas, specialising in logistics, marine, finance, tourism, and polymer chemistry. In Seoul, Funds were generated from private companies have led to the construction of much needed new branches of their metro, construction is carried out by the national development company Korea Land & Housing Corporation.

Seoul CitySeoul Capital Area
Population10 million25.71 million
Area605 sq mi)11,851 sq.mi)
Rank1 (Republic of Korea)4 (World)
According to Statistics Korea, The population of the Seoul Capital Area (Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi) is 25.71 million persons in 2018, which accounted for 49.8% of the total population of South Korea. Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province are the surrounding provinces. It is 4th largest metropolitan city in the world after Tokyo, Delhi and Shanghai.

Seoul city UN Urban Agglomeration Population Prospects - 1950 to 1935
YearSeoul Population
Source:, 1950 to 1935 Seoul city Population(UA)

Yongsan-gu and Mapo-gu are one of the oldest suburbs close to the Han River. Itaewon is the area located in Yongsan-gu, is a popular area for tourists, expats and home to many foreigners in South Korea. Hongdae is the area located in Mapo-gu in the western end of Seoul near Hongik University which is known music culture, local shops, dine and entertainment. Gangnam-gu and surronding neighbourhoods are later developed along south of the river bay, Gangnam District is the third largest district in Seoul. Dongdaemun, popularly called Dongdaemun Market is one of the largest shopping center in Seoul. Myeong-dong is very popular for the locals and foreigners for the luxury shopping and street food. Songpa is located at the southeastern part of Seoul, on the south side of the Han River, the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, and Lotte World are located in Songpa-gu. Bamson, downs from Gangnam-gu, serves as the home to the National Assembly. Namhan Mountain and Gwanak Mountain lies in the south of the Gangnam area.

Incheon is a neighbourhood city located in north-western region of South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. The population of Incheon in 2020 is 3 Million, and is South Korea's third populous city after Seoul and Busan. About 30 kilometres southwest of Seoul, Songdo International Business District is a smart city built from scratch on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront and central park, it is part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone. The population of Songdo is around 50,000 by 2018. Currently there are not many entertainment zones in Songdo, people often go to Seoul on the weekends.

Seoul Size and Population

Seoul population in 2020 is estimated to be 10,013,781 (10 Million), According to Korean StatsThe population of the Seoul Capital Area accounted for 49.8% of the total population of South Korea. Households in the Seoul Capital Area recorded 10.04 million households. Total Population as per quarter Q2 of 2020 is 9,985,652, Senior Population, Aged 65 and over is 1,534,957, Migrants into Seoul as on July 2020 is 115,625, Number of Foreigners with resident status is 264,806, Total number of Households in 2019 is 3,838,934, Total Number of Births as on June 2020 is 3,908.

Seoul History

It is the oldest settlement around Han River area, where present day Seoul is located, began around 4000 BC. According to timeline, It is located at the heart of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul has always been an important strategic point throughout the centuries in terms of defense and the economy, from one kingdom to the next. The three kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla (BCE 57 – CE 688) all fought over the area that is now Korea's capital. Indeed, whichever kingdom claimed Seoul became the dominant power. During the Goryeo Dynasty, Seoul had the name Hanseong, picking up the current name during the Joseon Dynasty, designated Seoul. The Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910) declared Seoul as its capital. During the Japanese invasion and the Korean war(1950–53), the many parts of the city was destroyed, the city was rebuilt from 1960 to 1970's. During 1990, the Korean government restored some of the historical buildings including Gyeongbokgung palace. Even though Simple National Census was first conducted in the year of 1925, The first Population Census of Seoul, A family registration system began in the Shilla Dynasty. Peoople started migrating to cities in early 1950's, The population of Seoul in 1950 is around 1 Million, and quickly increased to 2.36 million by 1960 and doubled to 5.3 million by 1970, and 8.2 million by 1980 and soon the population reached 10 million by the end of year 1990.

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