Seoul sees 8% jump in foreigners since last year

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Seoul sees 8% jump in foreigners since last year

The number of foreigners residing in Seoul has risen since the beginning of this year, mainly because of the increased number of marriage immigrants and the city’s improved circumstances, city data showed yesterday.

According to statistics from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, 285,618 foreign nationals were living in the capital at the end of the third quarter, up 4.1 and 1.36 percent from the end of the first and second quarters, respectively.

Compared to the end of last year, the number of foreigners in the third quarter in Seoul jumped 7.95 percent, making up 2.71 percent of the city’s total population.

Among the foreign nationals staying in Seoul, Korean-Chinese took up the largest proportion with 65 percent, followed by full Chinese with 11 percent and U.S. citizens with 3.53 percent, according to the data.

“The trend is due mainly to the increased number of marriage immigrants, along with Seoul’s overall development in both physical and cultural terms,” said Hwang Seon-ah, the city official who overseas support for foreign residents.

“For their convenience, we came up with measures not only for building facilities for them but also for helping them better adapt to our society by devising welfare programs and awareness-raising campaigns,” she added.

Despite the inflow of foreigners into Seoul, the city’s overall population has fallen from the start of this year. Some 10,557,498 people were registered in the city at the end of the third quarter, falling 0.23 and 0.12 percent from the end of the first and second quarters of this year, respectively.

The number of Seoul residents as of the end of September decreased 0.17 percent from the end of last year.

The decrease in the city’s overall population is in line with the country’s low birthrate, together with the development of Seoul’s neighboring areas that have relatively cheaper living expenses, according to the city. Yonhap
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