Long-term foreign residents accounted for 1.97 percent of South Korea’s population in 2011, rising nearly 20 times from two decades earlier, a government report showed Friday.
The 2011 social index report compiled by Statistics Korea showed there were 982,461 foreigners who have been legally registered as long-term residents, compared with just 49,507 people tallied in 1990.
Of the total, 231,000 were in the country on nonprofessional employment visas, with 68,000 enrolled in South Korean schools.
Others were in the country after having acquired permanent residence status.
The social index also showed a drop in the number of students attending elementary, middle and high schools, reflecting the impact of the country’s low birth rate.
It said there were just 6.98 million students last year, a 31.7 percent drop from 9.20 million reported in 1991.
The report also showed the overall crime rate falling 12 percent on-year to little over 1.91 million cases, although rape cases shot up 23.4 percent from the year before to 19,939.
There was a 260-fold increase in registered mobile phone users in the country in 2011 vis-a-vis 1991. (Yonhap)