No. of S. Koreans living abroad inches up in 2018: ministry

SEOUL-- The number of South Korean nationals living overseas rose slightly last year from two years earlier, largely led by increases in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, a biennial report by the foreign ministry showed Wednesday.

The figure stood at 7.49 million at the end of 2018, up 0.85 percent, or 62,899, from the 7.43 million tallied at the end of 2016, according to the report on South Koreans living in 180 countries.

That compares with a 3.42 percent gain in 2016 and a 2.45 percent increase in 2014.

Of the total, 3.28 million people resided in Northeast Asia, accounting for the largest portion, followed by 2.78 million in North America, 687,059 in Europe and 592,441 in the Asia Pacific region.

The report showed that 103,617 were living in Central and South America, 24,498 in the Middle East and 10,877 in Africa.

Europe and Asia Pacific saw 8.9 percent and 6.2 percent growth, respectively, with North America logging a 2 percent rise.

In contrast, the number of South Korean nationals in Northeast Asia and Central and South America declined 2.4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

By country, 2.54 million were living in the United States, 2.46 million in China and 824,977 in Japan.

Notably, Vietnam posted a 38.7 percent increase to 172,684 in the cited period, apparently due to an expansion in corporate investment, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the number of South Korean adoptees in Europe and Australia came to 47,506 as of the end of 2018, it added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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