A recent study shows that foreigners who have moved to Korea are spreading out of the main cities and are living in various regions around the country.
The study by Chonnam National University Institute of Regional Geography reported an 8.1% decrease in foreigners living in Seoul between 2010 and 2018 in proportion to the total foreign population in the country.
According to Korea Bizwire:
The proportion of foreigners living in the Gyeonggi region rose from 30.3 percent to 33.8 percent and South Chungcheong Province from 4.1 percent to 5.8 percent.
The proportion of those living in the Gwangju area rose from 1.38 percent to 1.81 percent and Gangwon Province from 1.45 percent to 1.46 percent.
Sorted by provinces, the foreign population in Gyeonggi Province doubled from 278,997 to 558,197 people, with the population in Gangwon Province going from 13,300 to 34,682 people.
The foreign population in Busan (32,809 to 55,506 people) and Daegu (20,273 to 35,280 people) jumped by 69.2 and 74 percent, respectively. Gwangju, in particular, saw its foreign population triple (12,673 to 38,698).
The study also noted the change in nationalities of the foreign population.
Nationalities of foreigners have also diversified. In 2010, 66.2 percent of all foreigners in Korea were Korean compatriots from China, followed by Chinese (13.7 percent), Vietnamese (9.4 percent), and Americans (6.9 percent).
By 2018, the proportion of Korean Chinese dropped to 32.1 percent, while foreigners from Vietnam (10.2 percent) and Thailand (9.2 percent) have jumped in proportion.