Seoul reports largest population drop in 5 yrs: data

SEOUL-- Seoul has suffered its largest population decline in five years, with the soaring housing prices likely driving people out of the capital city, data showed Sunday.

According to figures compiled by the Ministry of Interior and Safety and provided to People Power Party Rep. Tae Young-ho, Seoul had a population of just over 9.56 million as of June. Compared to a year ago, that represented a drop of 154,856, or 1.59 percent. It is the largest annual drop in five years.

Seoul had almost 9.99 million people as of June 2016, and the number has been on a steady decline since.

The census data do not count foreign residents.

While a population drop is hardly new in Seoul, Rep. Tae pointed to skyrocketing housing costs as the main reason for the precipitous fall.

The northern ward of Nowon has seen the biggest drop among 25 districts, going from 528,887 to 515,997.

Only two wards, Gangdong and Yeoungdeungpo, reported a rise in population.

Source: Yonhap News Agency