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South Korea

Population

According to 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.

Language

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 North Korea.

Religion

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 Christmas day.

Religion and Languages of South Korea

 

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