Costs push people out of Seoul

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Costs push people out of Seoul

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Seoul saw the biggest number of people moving out in April, largely due to the high cost of housing.

According to the government’s resident registration data, Seoul’s population was some 10.003 million at the end of April, a decrease of 10,658 people from March. The number will probably fall below 10 million in the next couple of months.

Seoul has experienced net migration for more than seven years, or since February 2009, according to Statistics Korea Thursday

“It appears that many people are relocating due to the high housing prices in Seoul,” said an official at Statistics Korea.

In April, the average purchase price for a residence in Seoul rose 3.72 percent year-on-year and the price for jeonse, or a lump-sum deposit rental contract, increased by 6.39 percent during the same period, according to KB Kookmin Bank’s monthly report released earlier this month.

As of April, the average residence price in Seoul was 496.9 million won ($419,537) and the average jeonse deposit was 326.0 million won.

The national average residence price, on the other hand, was 295.6 million won and that of jeonse was 200.3 million won.

Busan came in second with net migration of 1,031 in April compared to the month before, while Daegu came in third with 933 people moving out.

As people left Seoul, the number of people moving into neighboring Gyeonggi grew. The net inflow of people was 7,554. Some 140,411 people relocated to the province, while 132,856 moved out.

Sejong and Jeju came in second and third for net inflows in April.

A total of 564,000 Koreans relocated last month, a decrease of 13.1 percent compared to the previous year.

An official at Statistics Korea said the overall number has dropped due to the sluggish economy.

Meanwhile, another report released by Statistics Korea on Thursday showed that there were a total of 38,200 babies born in March, down 5.2 percent from the previous year. There were more babies born in Sejong, while the number dropped in 13 cities and provinces, including Seoul, Daegu and Incheon.

The number of people getting married dropped 8.1 percent during the same period. There were more people getting married after they pass the age of 35, while the number dropped for people aged 25 to 34.

Divorce cases in the first quarter of the year totaled 250,300, down 3.8 percent from a year earlier.

“The number for people aged between 30 and 49 decreased but it rose for those who were over 50,” said Lee Jee-yeon, a director at Statistics Korea.

By region, Seoul and Busan recorded more divorce cases in April compared to the previous year, whereas they fell in Gyeonggi, North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang.

Meanwhile, Statistics Korea and municipal governments said on Thursday that they have embarked on conducting a new nationwide survey on the state of economy. The Economic Census is aimed at covering smaller businesses with less than five employees given that those entities often went unnoticed in national surveys.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]




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