South Korea to become a multiracial nation in the following year

For the first time next year, South Korea will have a higher percentage of foreign nationals than 5% of its population, making it one of the “multiracial and multicultural nations” according to the OECD. This is much faster than Japan’s acceptance of such workers (2.38%).

The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for International Security reported on October 27th that 2.514 million foreign nationals were residing in Korea as of the end of September, which is 4.89% of Seoul’s total population of 51.37 million. This includes 1.957 million long-term residents with visas and 557,000 short- term residents for less than 90 days.

COVID-19 caused a decline in the proportion of foreigners staying in 2021 to 3.79%, which was higher than the previous year. This year’s increase is closer to half from last year, as more foreign workers have been arriving through the employment permit system. “The share of documented foreigner is expected to surpass 5% of our population for the first time next year,” an official said.

The definition of multiracial and multicultural countries using the 5% foreigner threshold is used by international organizations, as evidenced by South Korea being the first multicultural and multiracist country outside of Europe and North America. Japan, which began accepting foreign workers in 1989, still has a foreign-born population of only 2.38% (2.99 million out of 125.41 million).

With an aging population and an exceptionally low birth rate, the pace of foreign worker migration in Korea is expected to accelerate. Experts recommend reforming the system as Korea becomes the first multiracial and multicultural country in Asia. “The ‘5% foreigner’ effect means that South Koreans will frequently encounter foreigners or people from foreign cultural backgrounds at all times, including schools, workplaces, and streets,” said Kim Ok Nyeo, a professor of social welfare at Sookmyung.

To make a country that is multi-racial and multicultural, it means that one in 20 residents is foreigner, second-generation immigrant or naturalized citizen. It has been suggested that Korea already has about 5% of foreigners (if you count the 429,000 undocumented immigrants), but this figure rises to 5.72% with more unaccompanied immigrants.

The percentage of the population with a migrant background, which includes more than just resident foreigners, may have already surpassed 5%, according to some. This is because Korea allows workers and their second-generation offspring to reside in the country on reimmigrantend visas, and the number of children born from immigrantic marriages is growing rapidly. The OECD reports that the proportion of people with an ancestry defect must also be considered within national categories.

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