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Net migration to Korea spikes in 2022

By Korea Herald

Published : July 14, 2023 - 13:13

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South Korea saw a net in-migration of 168,000 people in 2022, on the back of a 87 percent spike in the total number of foreign arrivals, government data showed Friday.

Migration to Korea, or the number of people of foreign nationality moving here, came in at 192,000, while those moving out of the country stood at 19,000, resulting in a net inflow of 168,000 foreign nationals.

“With the impact of COVID-19 fading, the numbers of people both leaving or arriving in the country have increased drastically,” an official at the Statistics Korea said.

Nearly half of the people of foreign nationality arriving here were Chinese nationals (95,000), followed by some 52,000 Vietnamese nationals and some 35,000 Thai nationals.

Some 33.4 percent of foreign nationals came to Korea for employment, the data showed. Pursuing education and training was cited as the second-most common reason for foreigners to come here with 21.5 percent, followed by short-term stays of less than 90 days at 21.4 percent and permanent residence or marriage at 12.7 percent.

Migration data tracks the numbers of both foreign nationals who reside here for 90 days or more and Korean nationals who reside overseas for 90 days or more.