Invaded by foreigners, South Korea will become a multiracial and multicultural country
South Korea will enter the era of a "multiracial and multicultural country" in the coming year, when the percentage of foreign nationals in the country is expected to exceed 5 percent of the total population. This is a significant achieveme...
South Korea will enter the era of a "multiracial and multicultural country" in the coming year, when the percentage of foreign nationals in the country is expected to exceed 5 percent of the total population. This is a significant achievement.
According to the OECD definition, South Korea will become a multicultural country before Japan which currently has a percentage of 2.38 percent foreign nationals in their population. According to data provided by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Security on October 27, 2023, at the end of September, there were approximately 2,514 million foreign nationals living in South Korea, accounting for 4.89 percent of the total population of 51.37 million.
Of this number, around 1,957 million are long-term residents who have visas, while around 557 thousand are short-term residents with a stay of less than 90 days.
In 2021, the percentage of foreigners living in Korea will decrease to 3.79 percent due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, last year, the percentage increased again to 4.37 percent. A significant increase occurred this year because the number of foreign workers entering Korea via work permits increased.
"Given the increase in the number of international students and workers since the Covid-19 pandemic, we estimate that the number of documented foreign nationals will exceed 5 percent of the population for the first time next year," said an official from South Korea's Ministry of Public Administration, reported by All K- pop, Monday (30/10/2023).
The 5 percent foreigners threshold is used in census statistics and by international organizations to define a country as "multiracial and multicultural." South Korea is the first country in Asia to reach this stage.
There is a view that if we include the 429 thousand undocumented immigrants in the country, this percentage could jump to 5.72 percent.
“Five percent foreigners means residents will encounter foreigners or people from foreign cultural backgrounds at any time and anywhere, including schools, workplaces, and streets, and South Korea is the first country in Asia to reach this stage this,” said a social welfare professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy in Sook
myung Women's University, Kim Ok-nyeo.
It is important to note that not only foreign nationals are counted in this percentage, but also the resident population with a migrant background. This includes naturalized citizens, second-generation immigrants, and aliens who are residents by birth. The OECD noted that the percentage of the population with a migrant background in South Korea in 2021 was 4.3 percent.
As the foreign population in Korea grows, some have expressed concerns about potential social and cultural tensions that could arise, such as discrimination in schools, religious conflicts, and other social conflicts. Therefore, embracing cultural diversity is considered a very important step amidst this development.
South Korea, as a country that is rapidly becoming multiracial and multicultural, must face the existing challenges and opportunities wisely to ensure harmony and inclusion in society. “If the number of migrants exceeds 5 percent, they will have a significant economic and cultural impact as members of society,” said President of the Korea Multicultural Family Support Association, Ahn Hyun-sook.
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