List of cities in South Korea by population

List of cities in South Korea by population

Traveling to various cities is fun, especially if you know some facts about those cities. South Korea has some great cities which would impress any tourist. Everything about South Korea cities is worth a tourist-visit: from their beautiful, natural, and historic landmarks and scenery to their industrial and technological hubs. It is no surprise that many migrants from outside the country, as well as natives that live in rural areas, move into cities in South Korea to take advantage of these sites and their opportunities.

cities in South Korea
Source: Getty Images

Did you know that South Korea has 9 provinces and 8 first level cities? Located on the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea is a highly urbanized country. It is the most developed country in the East Asia region and as such, it has amazing cities. The big economy is home to some large multinational companies such as Hyundai, LG, and Samsung. From this, it is easy to tell that the country has done quite well on the technology front. In this article, we explore the fascinating cities of South Korea by population. All population data are based on the South Korean population and housing census 2015.

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1. Seoul

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. Strategically situated on the Han River, Seoul's history stretches back over two thousand years, when it was founded in 18 BCE by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Seoul’s population(as of 2015) was 9,904,312. The Seoul skyline is characterized by high-rise apartments. This is a global city owing to its economy, livability, and contributions in technology. In its older days, the city used to be surrounded by a huge wall that kept residents safe from wild animals and external attacks. One of the biggest challenges in Seoul is traffic congestion. This can be attributed to the rapid growth of the country's population thus stretching the existing resources. Visitors to this city must be prepared to cope with crowded streets.

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2. Busan

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Busan is the second largest city in South Korea with a population of 3,448,737 people according to the 2015 housing census. Found in the southeastern part of the country, the city has turned to be the largest industrial area in South Korea. Apart from that, the city is also the host of the fifth busiest seaport in the entire world. Tourists would love the fact that the city is also called the Summer Capital of South Korea. Along the Busan shoreline, you will find great beaches, restaurants, and cafes. Another interesting fact is that Busan has the largest department store in the world. Next time you are in Busan, you can visit Centum City to see the store (Shinsegae).

cities in South Korea
Source: UGC

3. Incheon

The city is located in the northwestern part of South Korea and has a population of 2,890,451 people according to the housing census done in 2015. It is the third largest city in the country. It is also a coastal city. The city has grown tremendously in the past few decades considering that in 1883 when it was established as an international port, the city had only 4,700 people only. The international port status has enabled the city to be a major gateway for commercial and cultural exchange.

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4. Daegu

This city is home to close to 2,466,052 people. It is the fourth largest city in South Korea. The city used to be a manufacturing industry city. However, its growth has been affected by the decline in the textile industry. After Seoul, Daegu is South Korea’s second largest inland city. The city is scenic, surrounded by mountains that house Buddhist temples. The city is also filled with art and cultural scenes. Its contribution to international art cannot go without mention. The city is home to the Daegu International Opera Festival and the Daegu International Bodypainting Festival.

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cities in South Korea
Source: UGC

5. Daejeon

Daejeon has a population of 1,538,394 people. This is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country. It is strategically located at crossroads of two key highways and two major railway lines. It is also a popular education center with many universities. There are approximately 18 universities in this city. This city is found at the heart of the country and it, therefore, enjoys good scenes from the surrounding mountains. At the western border of the city, you can find the Gyeryongsan National Park. The growth of the city is due to the fact that it is a provincial center for television, publishing, and newspaper among other organizations.

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6. Gwangju

Gwangju is the sixth largest city in South Korea. The population for Gwangju city is 1,502,881 people. The city was established around 57 BC. It is situated in the southwestern parts of the country. It is claimed that the residents of the city possess the highest level of artistic sophistication and artistic knowledge as compared to people from other parts of the country. The cuisine in this city is also legendary because of its diversity. Interestingly, the city comprises mostly of the youth with 28.5% of the city residents being students.

7. Ulsan

Official statistics show that Ulsan has a population of about 1,166,615 people. The city is found towards the southeastern parts of the country. It is located north of Busan city. It is in this city that you find Hyundai. There are other great tourist attractions in the city such as grand parks, the Yeongnam Alps and a whaling museum.

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The population of all cities in South Korea

  1. Andong - 168,581
  2. Ansan - 747,035
  3. Anseong - 194,765
  4. Anyang - 585,177
  5. Asan - 319,929
  6. Boryeong - 101,852
  7. Bucheon - 843,794
  8. Busan- 3,448,737
  9. Changwon- 1,059,241
  10. Cheonan - 629,062
  11. Cheongju - 833,276
  12. Chuncheon - 281,596
  13. Chungju - 211,005
  14. Daegu - 2,466,052
  15. Daejeon - 1,538,394
  16. Dangjin - 163,762
  17. Dongducheon - 97,424
  18. Donghae - 90,255
  19. Gangneung - 215,677
  20. Geoje - 261,371
  21. Gimcheon - 137,540
  22. Gimhae - 534,124
  23. Gimje - 84,269
  24. Gimpo - 352,683
  25. Gongju - 113,542
  26. Goyang - 990,073
  27. Gumi - 421,075
  28. Gunpo - 285,721
  29. Gunsan - 275,155
  30. Guri - 180,063
  31. Gwacheon - 64,817
  32. Gwangju - 1,502,881
  33. Gwangju - 310,278
  34. Gwangmyeong - 338,509
  35. Gwangyang - 144,414
  36. Gyeongju - 262,310
  37. Gyeongsan - 278,500
  38. Gyeryong - 39,243
  39. Hanam - 154,838
  40. Hwaseong - 608,725
  41. Icheon - 209,003
  42. Iksan - 301,723
  43. Incheon - 2,890,451
  44. Jecheon - 136,350
  45. Jeju (City) - 451,758
  46. Jeongeup -110,627
  47. Jeonju - 658,172
  48. Jinju - 349,788
  49. Miryang - 103,069
  50. Mokpo - 239,524
  51. Mungyeong - 71,863
  52. Naju - 92,582
  53. Namwon - 80,499
  54. Namyangju - 629,061
  55. Nonsan - 124,246
  56. Osan - 213,840
  57. Paju - 415,345
  58. Pocheon - 163,388
  59. Pohang - 511,804
  60. Pyeongtaek - 457,873
  61. Sacheon - 113,335
  62. Samcheok - 69,509
  63. Sangju - 98,760
  64. Sejong - 204,088
  65. Seogwipo - 153,861
  66. Seongnam - 948,757
  67. Seosan - 169,221
  68. Seoul -9,904,312
  69. Siheung - 425,184
  70. Sokcho - 79,846
  71. Suncheon - 265,390
  72. Suwon - 1,194,313
  73. Taebaek - 46,715
  74. Tongyeong - 137,208
  75. Uijeongbu - 421,579
  76. Uiwang -154,879
  77. Ulsan- 1,166,615
  78. Wonju - 330,854
  79. Yangju - 205,988
  80. Yangsan - 297,532
  81. Yeoju - 109,937
  82. Yeongcheon - 97,669
  83. Yeongju - 109,266
  84. Yeosu - 273,761
  85. Yongin - 971,327

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That marks the end of our list of cities in South Korea by population. If you are planning to visit South Korea, it is a good call because you can experience everything here- art, culture, technology, nature, and a warm welcome from the people of South Korea. The country has many cities, each unique in its own way. The list of great cities in the country is endless and as new cities emerge, we may might have to write about new cities in the future and what they have to offer.

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