50-millionth Korean citizen registered
By Park Si-soo
Korea’s population has officially reached the 50-million mark, Wednesday.
The Ministry of Public Affairs and Security said the 50-millionth citizen ㅡ Kim Sung-mi, female ㅡ was registered on her family registry at a ward office in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, on Sept. 30.
The country began counting its population in 1968 by issuing ID numbers to all citizens, the ministry said. The first officially-acknowledged population tally in January 1969 was 34.44 million.
It reached 40 million in 1984 and kept increasing, though sluggishly, to mark 49.77 million in January this year.
Seoul is the second largest city in population, accommodating nearly 20 percent of the entire population or 10.18 million. Gyeonggi Province is the largest in this regard with 11.63 million people, the government estimates. Those in their 40s are 8.734 million, becoming the largest segment by age.
Public Administration Minister Maeng Hyung-kyu said, “The 50-millionth citizen pins high hopes on Korea which has wrestled with record-low birth rates in recent years.”