Seoul, South Korea Population

Population in Urban Area, now

9,961,706

Population in City Area, 2019-09-05

9,962,000

Seoul Urban Area Population Graph

Seoul Population Review

The massive metropolis of Seoul is a mixture of traditional South Korean culture and modern pop culture. A fascination mishmash of ancient Buddhist temples and futuristic plazas, Seoul continues to attract visitors and new residents in droves. As of 2019, over 9 million people live in the city’s urban area, with 25 million people calling the sprawling metropolitan area home—making it the fifth most populated city in the globe.

The capital and largest city in South Korea, Seoul is located on the northwest part of South Korea along the Han River. Seoul’s massive growth and globalization is even more surprising, since the city isolated itself for hundreds of years and only opened its door to foreigners and global influence in the late 19th century.

The Miracle on the Han River

The “Miracle on the Han River” is a phrase that refers to South Korea’s astounding economic growth that took it from an impoverished country to the economic giant it is today. By the end of the 20th century, the country was among the largest economies in the world and was inducted into the G20 in 2010. This has affected Seoul quite a bit, since 50% of the country’s entire population lives in the city.

A small but growing international population

Seoul has a very homogenous population and the majority of people living in Seoul are Korean. However, the South Korean government has continued to strive to attract foreign residents and tourists to Seoul—but the population of foreigners that call the city home is still quite small. Out of a city of 9 million, only about 280,000 people identify as foreign residents. 66% of this foreign population is Chinese citizens of Korean ancestry.

The most densely populated in the world

Seoul’s meteoric economic and population growth has meant that there are a lot of people living in close quarters. While this is common for any major city, Seoul wins the prize for the highest population density in the world. There are 17,000 people per square kilometer in Seoul, which is twice that of New York City, four times higher than that of Los Angeles, and eight times that of Rome—and all of these people are packed into 600-square kilometers. Of course, this many people in such a small area is the perfect recipe for a housing issue, which Seoul is currently going through. Demand is outstripping supply in the city on the Han River, and experts predict it will only get worse with the population expected to reach 10.2 million people by 2035.

Review Updated: September 26, 2019
Seoul SkylineSeoul Skyline

Seoul Urban Area Population History

1950 1,021,000
1951 1,110,000
1952 1,208,000
1953 1,313,000
1954 1,428,000
1955 1,553,000
1956 1,689,000
1957 1,836,000
1958 1,997,000
1959 2,171,000
1960 2,361,000
1961 2,555,000
1962 2,754,000
1963 2,970,000
1964 3,202,000
1965 3,452,000
1966 3,722,000
1967 4,057,000
1968 4,439,000
1969 4,855,000
1970 5,312,000
1971 5,630,000
1972 5,904,000
1973 6,191,000
1974 6,492,000
1975 6,808,000
1976 7,087,000
1977 7,360,000
1978 7,644,000
1979 7,938,000
1980 8,244,000
1981 8,483,000
1982 8,688,000
1983 8,898,000
1984 9,114,000
1985 9,334,000
1986 9,559,000
1987 9,790,000
1988 10,027,000
1989 10,269,000
1990 10,518,000
1991 10,553,000
1992 10,478,000
1993 10,404,000
1994 10,329,000
1995 10,256,000
1996 10,180,000
1997 10,104,000
1998 10,029,000
1999 9,954,000
2000 9,879,000
2001 9,850,000
2002 9,843,000
2003 9,836,000
2004 9,829,000
2005 9,822,000
2006 9,817,000
2007 9,812,000
2008 9,806,000
2009 9,801,000
2010 9,796,000
2011 9,809,000
2012 9,831,000
2013 9,853,000
2014 9,875,000
2015 9,897,000
2016 9,919,000
2017 9,941,000
2018 9,963,000
2019 9,962,000

Seoul Urban Area Population Projections

2020 9,963,000
2021 9,968,000
2022 9,976,000
2023 9,988,000
2024 10,005,000
2025 10,026,000
2026 10,050,000
2027 10,077,000
2028 10,106,000
2029 10,135,000
2030 10,163,000
2031 10,191,000
2032 10,218,000
2033 10,243,000
2034 10,265,000
2035 10,286,000

Map of Seoul, South Korea

All Biggest Cities in South Korea