Countryaah, South Korea had an average population density of 520
residents per km 2 in 2019, but the settlement is
concentrated to the river valleys and lowlands to the west
and south, some of Asia's most densely populated areas.
Family planning campaigns have been running since the 1960s.
Exchanges with other countries have been poor since the
days of the Korean War. The population is ethnically very
homogeneous; besides Koreans, there are a small number of
Chinese. Seoul, with its 10.4 million residents (2014) is
the country's largest city; followed by Busan (3.6 million)
and Inchon (2.9 million). More than 80 percent of the
population lives in cities.
The official language is Korean. The Seoul dialect is the
norm for the standard speech. The differences in dialogue
between South Korea and North Korea are distinct but present
no difficulties for mutual linguistic understanding. In the
written language, from the 1980s, there is a clear tendency
to increasingly abandon the use of Chinese characters in
favor of the domestic script han'gul, which is an
approximation to the mandatory orthographic practice in
For religion in Korea before 1948 and domestic
traditional religion in Korea, see Korea (Religion).
In South Korea, about 33% of the population (2010) is
said to be Christian. The majority of these belong to
independent communities whose membership amounts to 25% of
the population. Protestants make up about 20% and Catholics
10%. In the country there are (2010) 118 different Christian
communities. Most of these do not have many members. Only
twelve have membership numbers exceeding one percent of the
population. It is estimated that just over 25% of Christians
are members of more than one community.
About 25% of South Korea's population are Buddhists. In
addition, 15% are followers of traditional indigenous
religion and as many are stated to be members of some
neo-religious movement, to which one can count chondonism
and the Family Federation for world peace and unity.
Confucianism is comprised of about 10%.
South Korea has no state religion. The Constitution and
other laws guarantee freedom of religion. No religion has
any state benefits, and there is a strong distinction
between religion and state. Historical buildings, such as
Buddhist temples, are to some extent financially supported
by the state so that they can be preserved. Religious
schools are not allowed in state schools. However, such can
easily be provided in private schools.
National religious holidays are Buddha's birthday and