Foreign nationals to make up nearly 7% of Korea’s population by 2042

Laotian workers pose during a welcoming event hosted by the city goverment of Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, as they were temporarily hired at the farms in the city's neighbood in this April 2023 file photo. Korea Times file

The number of foreign nationals could potentially more than double in the next 20 years, thereby making up nearly 7 percent of the country’s entire population by 2042, data showed Thursday.The findings from Statistics Korea come as Korea struggles with a dwindling population and a greater reliance on foreign workers for its economy to move forward.The stats agency predicted that foreign workers may account for more than 10 percent of the country’s entire workforce by 2042.The agency assumed three possible projections: low, medium and high, forecasting the number of foreign nationals in proportion to the entire population over the next 20 years beginning in 2022.Under the medium-level projection, the overall population is projected to dwindle from 51.67 million in 2022 to 49.63 million by 2042. The ratio of Koreans in the population will fall to 94.3 percent from 96.8 percent as the number of Koreans decreases to 46.77 million from 50.02 million.The number of foreign nationals who are staying here for three months or longer, meanwhile, is forecast to grow to 2.85 million by 2042 from 1.65 million, with their total amount in the total population rising to 5.7 percent from 3.2 percent.

In the high-level projection, the number of foreign nationals will reach 3.61 million in 2042 and make up 6.9 percent of the overall population.Concerning the working age population, Koreans aged 15 to 64, this cohort is projected to drop to 25.73 million in 2042 from 35.27 million in 2022 in the medium-level projection. The amount of foreign nationals will more than double to 8.4 percent in 2024 from 4 percent in 2022 in this scenario. In the high-level projection, the number of foreign nationals in this age group is expected to grow as high as 2.94 million by 2042, thereby representing 10.1 percent of the nation’s entire workforce.The data also dealt with the population with a migrant background — foreign nationals or those birthed by a foreign parent. Their number will grow as high as 4.04 million altogether, or 8.1 percent of the total population by 2042. The figure will be up from 2.2 million in 2022, which accounted for 4.3 percent of the overall population.Korea has been breaking its own record concerning having the world’s lowest fertility rate, which fell to 0.72 babies born per woman in 2023 from 0.78 in 2022.The country is also anticipated to become a super-aged society by 2025, in which the proportion of those aged 65 or older make up over 20 percent of the total population.The country became an aged society in 2017, with the proportion of such people 온라인카지노 surpassing 14 percent.

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